Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Geoffrey Lean

Geoffrey Lean, Contributing Editor (Environment) at London's Daily Telegraph, has been covering the field for almost 40 years and has won many national and international awards for his work.

Featured Article

You hear it all the time, one of the most frequently voiced excuses for Western countries failing to radically cut carbon dioxide emissions: Taking any such action would hand a massive competitive advantage to fast-industrializing China.

Yet evidence is piling up that the very opposite is the case. The main challenge from the world’s new industrial superpower is not that it will continue to use the dirty, old technologies of the past, but that it will come to dominate the new, clean, green ones of the future.

As developed nations fail to put an adequate price on carbon, and thus to stimulate clean-technology development themselves, they risk handing market supremacy to the rival they most fear. Indeed, it could even be hypothesized that China’s blocking of agreement on rich-country emission targets in Copenhagen was intended to hold back the development of cleantech by its Western rivals.

Visitor after distinguished visitor to the world’s most populous country returns home shaken, if not stirred, by the speed and determination with which it is adopting these technologies, especially in renewable energy. David Sandalow, the U.S. assistant ... Read more

All Articles

  • Developing nations continue to lead post-Copenhagen

    It was one of the biggest surprises in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit, and it may be one of the best reasons for hope now that the meeting has ended in disappointment. Rapidly industrializing developing countries are pressing ahead with their plans to reduce the growth in their carbon emissions, despite the failure to […]

  • With new year comes second chance to save the world

    Just about exactly a year ago, patient readers with long memories may remember, I received a sobering New Year’s Day message. “Today,” it began arrestingly, “is arguably the first day of the most important year in human history.” Once again, the climate clock is ticking…The message — sent to a who’s who of top officials […]

  • Copenhagen blame game is obstacle to 2010 climate deal

    The holidays are supposed to be the season of goodwill. But that has been in short supply over the past week and a half as governments and environmental groups blame each other for the disappointing outcome of the Copenhagen climate summit. Did the messy outcome at Copenhagen make it less likely that world governments can […]

  • Seven steps to achieving a real climate deal

    So where do we go from here? How do we get from the disorganized, disappointing, dispiriting debacle of Copenhagen to a new and worthwhile climate treaty? The world needs solid directions for getting to a real climate deal in Mexico next year.Asking the question recalls the famous joke about the Irishman who, when asked by […]