Well, I don't know if the disaster has to be BIGGER......or a smaller disaster that just happens to be placed in a location where it upsets some influential people. :-)
I think part of the problem is that policies are too often framed as "we must do this or we will all die". That reeks of coersiveness and causes an immediate and reflexive pushback, almost as if you went up to somebody physically, put your finger on their chest, and gave them a shove.
OTOH, what if policy focuses were on consumers instead of producers, and framed in a way where everyone wins?
Example -- most people's homes are energy sieves, with one of the major culprits being single pane windows. Our house included. A few years ago, I did a study just for our house to figure out how long it would take for double pane windows to pay for themselves. The answer was like.... 8 years. (And now, with traditional energy prices having fallen, that would be more like 10 years).
Well, the average American doesn't live in the same house that long, so nobody is going to spend a lot of money to buy new windows so the next owner will benefit.
Less home energy used = less demand on existing power plants = less CO2 output from those plants.
So, if you want the capitalists on board, you look for bottom-up solutions rather than top-down solutions that distort the economy.