Negotiations at COP28 have crystallized on the “phase down” versus “phase out” fossil fuels debate – with no clear consensus. But the science is clear, and to quote UN Secretary General Guterres: “The 1.5C limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear timeframe.”
Now is the time to break through the political impasse and drive science-based, sustainable policy solutions to face the existential climate threat. Could the insights from social sciences hold the key to shift all interests towards urgent and meaningful action in addressing the fossil fuel issue?
“Thinking about how our modes of governance, our economies and financial systems are functioning is absolutely vital at this stage of the game,” explains Cameron Hepburn, Oxford Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, Professor of Environmental Economics and panellist in the recent ISC/Royal Society COP28 panel discussion.