Environmental journalist and author Duncan Clark argues that tackling global warming means persuading the world to leave fossil fuels in the ground. But does the political and economic will exist to make this a reality?
Burning carbon made our modern industrial world – but now we’ve got to stop. Despite increasing awareness of the problem of climate change, carbon emissions are still on the rise, following an exponential curve that goes back centuries. Tackling global warming will mean persuading the world to abandon oil, coal and gas reserves worth many trillions of dollars - at least until we have the means to put carbon back in the ground. The burning question is whether this can be done. What mix of politics, psychology, economics and technology might be required? With recent signals from government suggesting that commitment to pro-green policies is prone to falter when times get tough, there are clearly still huge issues of institutional and individual denial of the scale and urgency of the challenge we face. Will we wake up to the threat in time? And who can do what to make it all happen?
Speaker: Duncan Clark, consultant editor for Guardian environment, visiting researcher, UCL Energy Institute and co-author with Mike Berners-Lee of The Burning Question (Profile, 2013)
Chair: Chris Goodall, writer on energy and environment.