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The Net-Zero Imperative

22 Dec 2015

Following the conclusion of the Paris UN Climate Summit (COP 21), INET Oxford’s Eric Beinhocker and Prof. Myles Allen of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute and the Martin School, published an op-ed in Project Syndicate calling for a decrease in all carbon emissions to zero before mid-century.  They argue that this is a necessary implication of the Paris agreement, where nations set a limit on warming of 1.5 to 2 degrees and agreed to a “balance” between emissions sources and sinks.  Many business leaders, investors, politicians, media commentators, and even some climate experts don’t realise that these commitments require not just a major decrease in emissions, but that all emissions must go to net-zero.  If countries are serious about their Paris commitments, then the fossil fuel economy must end and the post-carbon economy must begin, not in the distant future, but in the coming decades.