Summary of Designing Climate Solutions

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Designing Climate Solutions book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Comprehensive
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Experts


Governments have had decades to confront the issue of climate change, but have largely done nothing. Global leaders continue to delay drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the effects of global warming accumulate and reinforce each other. Energy policy consultant Hal Harvey – writing with Robbie Orvis and Jeffrey Rissman – presents a comprehensive, detailed manual for effective policy aimed at “decarbonizing the economy.” Their research, advice and spirit will appeal to those calling for action now. While what the authors present is highly technical – and a bit redundant here and there – it’s a perfect guidebook for policy wonks, legislators, climate change advocates and executives in affected industries. The authors detail how everything necessary to make the transition to a low-carbon economy already exists. The technologies are robust, and the costs are low. Their analysis describes exactly what must be done; the only thing missing is the political will.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which economic sectors are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions,
  • Which elements of successful policies combat climate change and
  • Which policies can pave the way for rapid transformation away from a fossil fuel–based economy.

About the Authors

Energy policy consultants Hal Harvey, Robbie Orvis and Jeffrey Rissman are executives at Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC.



“Decarbonizing the Economy” 

Governments and scientists agree that limiting global warming to less than 2oC [3.6oF] above preindustrial levels is necessary to avoid the worst of climate change. Even a chance of reaching this goal requires drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions to be 40% to 70% lower in 2050 than they would be without these limits.

The fastest way to meet that standard is to transform developed countries’ energy and industrial sectors. The top 20 highest carbon-emitting countries are responsible for 75% of all emissions. Overall, 94% of these emissions come from four economic sectors: industry, the generation of power and heat, transportation, and buildings. To cut sector emissions quickly, countries can reduce their overall electricity use through increased efficiencies, can take carbon out of electricity generation by substituting renewable fuel sources, adopt electric vehicles (EVs); invest in urban transit, and curb emissions from industry and buildings. Performance standards, “economic signals,” R&D, and new&#...

More on this topic

By the same authors

Money Well Spent

Customers who read this summary also read

Technology Quarterly: Towards Zero Carbon
Carbon’s Future in Black and White
The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change
Can US States and Cities Overcome Paris Exit?
Taming the Sun
The Dirty Secret of the World’s Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

Related Channels

Comment on this summary