Headline: The Political Logic of Net Zero

Technologies for Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) only represent climate solutions in as much as they go hand in hand with deep emissions reductions. The (future) availability of CCUS and CDR technologies does not mean we can delay or avoid phasing out fossil fuels if we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C. Likewise, the expansion of renewable energy technologies will be nowhere near adequate for meeting agreed-upon climate targets unless fossil fuels are simultaneously ramped down. Up until now, renewables have been largely in addition to, rather than substituting for fossil fuels. Achieving our climate and broader sustainable development goals will require transformations that go beyond energy systems and reevaluate the structures and institutions behind our patterns of consumption, mobility, and food production, among others.

RIFS Policy Briefs

Mar, K. A., Unger, C., Schäfer, S., & Lawrence, M. G. (2023). The Political Logic of Net Zero. RIFS Policy Brief, 2023(4).

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