The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress, by Mark Jaccard, Cambridge University Press, RRP$19.95/RRP£44.99, 304 pages

Don’t be put off by this book’s uninviting title. Its Canadian author is an economist who writes engagingly about the fraught world of climate politics with the authority of an active combatant. Having helped to design a pioneering North American carbon tax, his views should be compulsory reading for armchair theorists.

What We Need To Do Now: For a Zero Carbon Future, by Chris Goodall, Profile Books, RRP£9.99, 224 pages

When economist Chris Goodall was writing this pleasingly accessible book, G7 countries had just begun to set net zero emission targets, and his idea of meeting those goals by boosting renewable electricity enough to create hydrogen-powered economies seemed highly ambitious. Today, it’s going mainstream as countries around the world bet on just that strategy.

Climate Change and the Nation State: The Realist Case, by Anatol Lieven, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 240 pages

If climate change poses such an existential threat to humanity, why isn’t more being done to stop it? This international relations writer makes a provocative but refreshing case for blaming blinkered “residual elites” so obsessed with past conflicts they cannot see the great climate challenge ahead. He also proposes an unlikely solution: nationalism.

Best Books of the Year 2020

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Business by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Wednesday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Thursday: History by Tony Barber
Friday: Critics choice
Saturday: Crime by Barry Forshaw

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, by David Attenborough, Ebury Press, RRP£20, 272 pages

Countless books have charted the destruction of the natural world and what must be done to stop it. Almost none are by anyone as globally admired as Attenborough. This call to action from the 94-year-old natural historian may not be entirely original but it is an important message from a messenger without parallel.

Tell us what you think

What are your favourites from this list — and what books have we missed? Tell us in the comments below

The Carbon Club: How a Network of Influential Climate Sceptics, Politicians and Business Leaders Fought to Control Australia's Climate Policy, by Marian Wilkinson, Allen & Unwin, RRPA$32.99, 456 pages

Australia’s raging bushfires and bleached coral reefs raise a baffling question: why has a country so exposed to climate change done so little to stop it? This account by one of the country’s top investigative journalists reveals the loose network of climate sceptics and influential business leaders who helped to shape decades of inaction.

Pilita Clark is the FT’s business columnist

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