2019/41 LEM Working Paper Series

The green transition: public policy, finance and the role of the State

Francesco Lamperti, Mariana Mazzucato, Andrea Roventini and Gregor Semieniuk
market-shaping; mission-oriented; green finance; renewable energies; transition; entrepreneurial state.

  JEL Classifications
H11, H70, Q48, Q54, Q55
While investments into renewable energy technologies are growing almost everywhere, the chances to meet ambitious emission and climate targets, as those envisaged in the Paris Agreement, are scant. To speed up the transition, policy makers need to design and implement a policy mix that could affect not just the quantity of green finance, but its quality as well. In this paper, we argue that a mission-oriented approach to the transition from an economy with high, to one with low greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with the state taking on the role of an entrepreneurial state, could provide an effective win-win strategy to address climate change concerns (embodied in emissions reduction and adaptation boosting) and build the basis for the next phase of growth and technological progress. In practice, this amounts to (i) abandoning the view that cost-internalization of environmental externalities would suffice to induce an effective transition (ii) developing a multi-level and cross-sectoral governance of the transition, with a clear direction in terms of the technological trajectory to favour, and (iii) designing a policy mix encompassing: fiscal instruments, targets and standards; public-private co-funding schemes; financial regulation; and disclosure practices. Social scientists should support such ambitious policy-design processes through adequate model development, where a combination of policies, and a directive role of the state, can be accommodated and examined in detail.
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