Review: Will capitalism fix climate change?

In ‘Climate Capitalism’, Akshat Rathi’s enthusiasm for environmental private enterprise is infectious, but he’s unclear on who’s footing the bill, writes Ann Pettifor.

The World Today Updated 20 December 2023 Published 1 December 2023 3 minute READ

Ann Pettifor

Political economist, author and speaker

Climate Capitalism: Winning the Global Race to Zero Emissions
Akshat Rathi, John Murray Press, £20

At the end of his book, Akshat Rathi concludes that getting to zero emissions by a deadline will ‘mean changing everything’. But from the opening pages the tone of Climate Capitalism is one of acceptance that changing the capitalist system is just not possible.

He begins by setting out the system’s flaws: its extractive nature; the delusional ‘pursuit of endless growth at all costs’; the determination of many to ‘maximize profits … and the tendency of the system to concentrate wealth in the hands of the rich’. With these flaws in mind, he is resigned to the impossibility of change.

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