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Can Bureaucracy Start a Climate Revolution?
February 17, 2022 • 10:00 am PST
The struggle to limit carbon emissions often pits sustainable energy against fossil fuels. But does it have to be this way? As Kartikeya Singh writes in a new essay for Issues in Science and Technology, India’s carbon-heavy government ministries have shown a surprising ability to engineer deep change: the nation brought electricity to over half a billion citizens between 2009 and 2019, then presided over a grid where wind and solar became cheaper than power from coal. Could these ministries—which employ 20 million people—transform the country’s energy sector to be ecologically and economically sustainable? Instead of pinning all our hopes on technology, entrepreneurs, and politicians, what can the world accomplish by harnessing fossil fuel bureaucracies for the future?
Kartikeya Singh, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Issues editor-in-chief Lisa Margonelli visit Zócalo to ask how bureaucracies might embrace obsolescence and reinvent themselves to address today’s most urgent problems.
Image credit: Illustration by Joycelyn Cabrera. From left to right: Kartikeya Singh and Lisa Margonelli.