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Tipping points to the post-carbon society

Nov 2017

Modern human civilisation has been built upon energy from carbon-intensive fossil fuels.  We are now on the cusp of a once-in-a-civilisation transition to a net zero carbon society. The outcome of this transition could be a world that is cleaner, safer, smarter, more technologically advanced, and more prosperous. Getting there will necessarily involve structural transformation in many economic sectors. But progress to a zero carbon society is far slower than what is required to eliminate even the worst climate risks.

In this talk, Professor Doyne Farmer and Professor Cameron Hepburn, Directors of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition, discuss new research drawing on multiple disciplines to identify the sensitive intervention points where actions can deliver impact at scale and accelerate the achievement of global net-zero emissions.  They will consider those with interests in resisting or delaying the transition, including nations, capital and labour at risk of being ‘stranded’.  They will discuss a suite of simulation models that could enable richer explorations of the various possible routes to the post-carbon society, and to help identify the sensitive intervention points.