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The Democratic Challenge of Climate Change


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Rebecca Willis


Bristol U.P. - Policy Press



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All except China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan


Rebecca Willis is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster University. She is an Expert Lead on for Climate Assembly UK and was a respondent in the Channel Four Leaders’ Debate on Climate in November 2019. Media appearances include BBC Radio Four's Today Programme, the One O’Clock News, Radio 5 Live, The Guardian, New Scientist and more.


Scientists are clear that urgent action is needed on climate change, and world leaders agree. Yet climate issues barely trouble domestic politics.

This book explores a central dilemma of the climate crisis: science demands urgency; politics turns the other cheek. Is it possible to hope for a democratic solution to climate change?

Based on interviews with leading politicians and activists, and the author’s twenty years on the frontline of climate politics, this book explores why climate is such a challenge for political systems, even when policy solutions exist. It argues that more democracy, not less, is needed to tackle the climate crisis, and suggests practical ways forward.


"Too Hot to Handle…deals with a critical issue not just at the national level, but locally too. How do we get broad democratic support for real climate action?...If you’re at all involved in those projects, as an activist or from the government side, you might find this book helpful.”      -The Earthbound Report “If politicians know the seriousness of the climate crisis, why don’t they act? This highly readable book explains.”           -Shaun Spiers, Green Alliance "The political process that is central to our democracy is faltering just as we need it most to lead on the climate crisis. Rebecca Willis articulates the problem elegantly and outlines options with great insight.”         ...


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