Scalability and realist climate insights

Rasmus Karlsson*, Jonathan Symons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent scientific findings have underscored the need for a rapid global decarbonization. Yet, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise despite vast investments in small-scale renewable energy. Meanwhile, the prolonged international climate negotiations have yet to deliver effective mitigation action. By problematizing the issue of scalability and taking into consideration a realist analysis of international relations, this article suggests 1) that national transitions to a low-carbon economy can only serve as stepping-stones to global decarbonization if they contribute to the development of scalable technologies that are significantly cheaper than existing fossil alternatives and 2) that the current diplomatic gridlock can only be broken by technological innovation that severs the link between economic prosperity and greenhouse gas emissions, and thus also severs the link between decarbonization and military power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalWeather, Climate, and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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