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INTERVIEWS
16 April 2015 16:00

The Carbon Brief Interview: Jeremy Oppenheim

Simon Evans

Simon Evans

04.16.15
Simon Evans

Simon Evans

16.04.2015 | 4:00pm
InterviewsThe Carbon Brief Interview: Jeremy Oppenheim

Jeremy Oppenheim is programme chair of the New Climate Economy project, a major international initiative to understand the economic costs and benefits of climate action. He is also a director of McKinsey & Co and a former senior economist with the World Bank.

Speaking in his role as New Climate Economy chair, Oppenheim discusses…

Climate change and growth: “We’re not there to push the green growth line and just to come up with the conclusion that it’s all possible and it’s all easy. It was to look at the evidence”.

Treasuries’ economic models: “The moment you impose… a carbon constraintâ?¦ It’s impossible for those models to give you anything other than a reduction in growth rates”.

Reasons to focus on climate-friendly cities: “Choices that we make in urbanisation over the next 15 years will be with us for the next 150”.

High-carbon energy lock-in: “You put a coal plant into operation now, and it can be with us 40, 50, 60 years from now”.

Phasing out coal: “Continued use of unabated coal isâ?¦ the biggest driver of carbon emissions over the next 20-30 years”.

Decarbonising transport: “I think there’s a revolution underway in transportâ?¦ It’s a story about Uber… we’re beginning to dematerialise the personal mobility industry”.

His ‘desert island’ must-have climate policy: “It’s to integrate climate into key economic and investment and policy decisions… however boring that sounds… it’s the way forward”.

Ambition for the Paris UN climate talks: “I hope that we will get a commitment to net-zero [emissions]”.

Hopes for Paris: “The reason there’s a chance for a deal in Paris is that we’ve learnt a lot since Copenhagen”.

India’s path to development: “I don’t think it will be in India’s interest to do a copy-paste of China’s [very pollution-intensive] model of economic growth”.

Carbon Brief: Thank-you very much for joining us this morning, Jeremy. 

Jeremy Oppenheim: Pleasure.

CB: The first question I wanted to ask was about the New Climate Economy report, which you were a big part of last year. And that report considered an optimistic vision where quite a large chunk of the required action to avoid climate change can be taken at no net economic cost, or even a net benefit. So I wanted to ask, how can that sweet spot, where benefits equal or even exceed the costs, be shifted to more action?

JO: So, I think the starting point for the New Climate Economy work was a desire to examine the extent to which economic growth – which is, in all honesty, what people care about day in day out – would be compatible with taking the kind of climate action that we needed to get to a 2C pathway. Outside conversations like this and the rooms that you and I inhabit, most people, when confronted with the question of ‘is it possible to have growth and a safe climate’ would say, well, there’s a conflict between the two at a very fundamental level. And so our goal, as you have rightly described, was to examine independently and objectively that question. We’re not there to push the green growth line and just to come up with the conclusion that it’s all possible and it’s all easy. It was to look at the evidence to understand where is it that growth and taking action on climate can come together and where is it they are in truth in conflict, and put those facts on the table. That was the goal of the exercise. In order to really work through and examine that properly, we didn’t just look at the theory. Our approach to the work was to look at practice as well as theory to understand what countries have, in practice, put in place. Policies that, for example, look to clean up cities – do they somehow or other suffer a hit on growth? Is there a penalty when they do that? When you look at those parts of Europe, or those parts of the United States or China for that matter, that have begun to drive towards a cleaner economy, do you see evidence they’ve actually stalled in growth terms, or do you see evidence that they’ve actually picked up and attracted talent and they’ve driven innovation in their companies and they’ve built urban systems where it’s possible to get around and the air is cleaner? And overwhelmingly – not all the time but overwhelmingly – the practical evidence on the ground is that taking thoughtful, pragmatic action on climate integrated into better energy systems, better cities, better land use works in almost every context.


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CB: So, that issue around the cost of taking action and the traditional view that it would be costly and have impacts on economic growth, there do seem to be some different views around that question, depending on perhaps the economic world view – whether you’re taking a Keynesian or a kind of market-based approach. So, I guess I’d like to know whether you think the world view that says climate action is costly is somehow flawed, and whether perhaps it ought to be shifted – whether people in Treasuries and in companies around the world ought to recognise that it might not be right?

JO: There are good reasons why people hold the view that taking action on climate could have a penalty in terms of its impact on growth. And let’s just be clear what the reasons are that people make those statements, and the first is that Treasuries around the world use what are called general equilibrium models. They’re very standard economic models to project growth and the other key variables in the economy. In those models, they’re all models where the market’s all clear, all the time. The moment you impose an additional constraint on any of those models, such as a carbon constraint, it has, by definition, to deflect those models off what they call their equilibrium growth pathways. If your view of the world is it’s an equilibrium growth world, and then we’re composing a constraint, then the models can only do one thing. It’s impossible for those models to give you anything other than a reduction in growth rates. If you, by contrast, view the world in messier terms, you say actually it’s not obvious that our economy is operating in an equilibrium state all the time. In fact, normally it’s off equilibrium in one form or another – there are markets that are not clearing properly, there are all sorts of imperfections in the way the economy operates. And also, there are immense opportunities to improve the performance of that economy, whether through, for example, driving innovation harder or alternatively, dealing with elements of economic activity that create pollution but are never captured in any of these models. Then you have an opportunity to improve economic performance and climate action at the same time.

So, let me give you one concrete example of that. You will find in the Treasury models in this country, and in all countries around the world, that the costs of air pollution in terms of their impacts on public health are not measured. They’re in no Treasury model anywhere in the world. And yet, the most reliable evidence that we can find – and the [Global] Commission [on the Economy and Climate] worked extensively to look at the costs of local air pollution in terms of its burden on public health through respiratory diseases – is that estimates are anything from 2 to 3% of GDP, up to 10% or more. And this is not just in low income countries, this is in middle and high income countries in Europe. So, those are costs that are never incorporated in the Treasury models and our contention is that policies that actually improve the way in which our urban mobility systems work, that take out the burning of fossil fuels from power stations in and around cities, would improve air quality, would cut the public health burden associated with poor air quality and at the same time, would therefore deliver better economic outcomes. But it’s not in the economic models of the Treasuries.

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CB: This is one of the top recommendations of the Commission, which was to integrate climate and the sorts of issues that aren’t included in models into core economic decision-making. Lots of people have said similar things over the years and yet it’s never actually happened to a great extent. So how, specifically, can that be taken forwards?

JO: It does happen, let’s be clear. It’s not that it never happens. The EPA, in trying to address this issue in the States, went directly to the question of local air quality. They didn’t go directly to the issues of carbon, as you know, so their approach to this agenda is squarely consistent with what we suggested as the way forward. If you look at what’s going on in China today, the approach that the Chinese government is taking is to look for those opportunities to bring climate action together with benefits for the local population and deal with local environmental issues. And they’re very clear, it’s not a mystery what’s going on in China at the moment. We’ve seen even in the last year, in the context of somewhat slower growth, a 2.9% reduction in the use of coal. We’ve seen an even greater reduction in the use of coal in the Beijing area and the reason for that is the government would like to see, as they call it, APEC blue. So, I think the argument that we have made these kinds of statements before and it doesn’t land into policy is too harsh in terms of an assessment of what’s happened, not just now but historically. We’re constantly, as economies get wealthier, making choices to trade off effectively in favour of a broader interpretation not just of environmental benefits but of social benefits as well, and our argument consistently is look at the big picture and bring climate inside that.

CB: Coming back to the New Climate Economy report, there was quite a huge library of research and evidence gathering that went on behind the report you presented last year. So, why did you focus particularly on cities, energy and land use as the main focus of that report?

JO: We focused on them because in our view, the choices that are made in those sectors will be the choices that have the longest lock in effect, choices that we make in urbanisation over the next 15 years will be with us for the next 150 years. We almost looked for the equivalent of the Roman roads of the 21st century. We will lock into a pattern of urban development over the next 15 years. Of course you will remember that well over a billion people are likely to urbanise. We will be building the equivalent of 30 to 40% of the entire urban housing stock and infrastructure for the world in the next 15 years. So, the choices we make on that, the choices as to whether or not the cities sprawl, or the cities are organised and more compact and connected, will live with us for a very long time. The same is true in the energy system. These are not quick turnover assets, these are long turnover assets. You put a coal plant into operation now, and it can be with us 40, 50, 60 years from now. So, we focused on those systems that we thought would have the most durable lock in consequences either for good or for bad.

CB: You chose to focus on those three things – are there things you wish the report had actually included that didn’t make the cut?

JO: Clearly there’s a very big industrial economy out there. We don’t talk at length in the report about steel and chemicals and cement – the big fuel intensive industries. I’m not saying if we had our time again we’d do it differently, but over the course of the next year or two I’m hoping we’ll be able to explore some of the issues in those sectors as well. It’s interesting that the European Climate Foundation did a report on the chemicals industry in Europe, which had really interesting powerful findings of the extent to which that industry, first of all, has prospered in Europe over the past 15 years by moving away from the bulk chemicals and moving ever more towards specialty chemicals whose value added per tonne of carbon is significantly higher than, if you will, the bulk petrochemicals. And it’s exactly what you would expect an advanced economy to do. But it also goes beyond that and, of course, one begins to look at the production technologies, the potential for the application of the principles of, if you will, circularity. Can we use CO2 as a feedstock, and how would that work? How do we think about bio-feedstocks? So, the opportunity to innovate and reinvent an industry like chemicals is absolutely stunning, right. I think the chemicals industry will be part of the solution, as opposed to some people’s perception which is it’s a driver of the problem. I think what we need is more science and more new materials and clever applications of chemical engineering across the whole, if you will, carbon chain. We absolutely need that industry to be at the heart of things. So, I’d liked to have seen more on that.

We touched upon transport in the report, in the context of the urban choices that are available. I think there’s a revolution underway in transport, and it’s a revolution that’s broadly consistent with the New Climate Economy thesis. It’s interesting, my favourite example from last year was, let’s compare General Motors and Tesla and, isn’t it amazing, that General Motors sells, you know, whatever 8 to 10 million cars and its market capital is $40 billion, and Tesla is selling 25 thousand cars and its market capital is $25 billion and so Tesla is worth a million dollars a car. That’s how the market looks at it, and General Motors is a fraction of that. Now the story, I think, has moved on in a year, so how do we tell the story today? Well, it’s a story actually about Uber, so we’re beginning to dematerialise the personal mobility industry. I think what’s happening there is the story of moving from, you know, vinyl LPs – which are before your time – to CDs to online to Spotify and I think that’s where the personal mobility world will go in cities. And as that happens, the potential to decarbonise the transport sector is huge. But the power of it is not that people are saying, can I take the low carbon option? I really don’t think that’s top of people’s buying behaviour. I think it’s all around the opportunity just to get the mobility service I need without having to invest upfront 20,000 quid on a car or whatever and have it sit on the side of the street depreciating. People like the idea of being able to get a car as and when they need it and lead their life on that basis. So our story did not have as much on transport as it could have done. The direction of travel in that sector is hugely exciting for not just this story but future economic opportunities that we’d like to see businesses and policymakers get behind.


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CB: The New Climate Economy report had a kind of top ten list of recommendations. Which would be your desert island recommendation and the single most important one you would choose to keep if you could only have one?

JO: That’s a great question, I’ve always wanted a morning with Kirsty, but you will have to do. The first recommendation is arguably the most boring recommendation I have ever been associated with. It’s to integrate climate into key economic and investment and policy decisions, but that’s actually the key recommendation. If we can get investors both from a high carbon to a low carbon point of view, but also from a climate risk point of view in terms of the physical risk of actual change, [we can] begin to integrate those factors into their decision-making in a coherent, systematic, rigorous way, and we can get policymakers to do the same. If we can get companies to do the same, and we can begin to embed it into all the critical decision-making processes, then however boring that sounds – and it does sound really dull – it’s the way forward. So I find, for example, what I like is these challenges that are coming through about, you know, can you demonstrate to me your business strategy is 2C compatible – how does that work? And companies, including in the hydrocarbon sector, will have answers to that question. We can decide whether we like those answers or not, but actually that form of dialogue is part of a healthy plural society. I don’t think we should be demonising anybody. I think we should be inviting companies, investors, governments into the conversation to say look, you’ve made these commitments, you want to be part of the solution, help us understand how you see that so we can all learn. Because I think what we’re in is – it sounds a bit clichéd so I apologise – a dynamic learning process. The reason there’s a chance for a deal in Paris is that we’ve learnt a lot since Copenhagen, and I think there has been a really strong basis of evidence and learning and an attempt to actually think about what’s happened in the last half a dozen years. And therefore, I guarantee you our interpretation and our understandings will be different again five years from now and ten years from now. So, we’ve got to actually create something that is all about accelerated learning and multiple nodes of that learning across different parts of the economy.

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CB: You sort of touched on this already, but what’s your view on fossil fuel divestment campaigns, or do you think really the focus ought to be on transparency around exposure to potentially stranded assets?

JO: So my view is – and you know I think I’ve been on record on this – first, that I think that the industry is going to have to change overall because I think the world is changing. I think what’s happening in terms of the transport sector and the shift, if you will, from a carbon-based view of economic development with a linear relationship between car ownership and GDP per capita which then that feeds into a relationship in terms of demand for oil, I think all of that’s breaking down. So, the big oil and gas companies will have to change in the context of profound shifts on the supply side, with some of the new technologies coming in there, and profound shifts on the demand side. So let’s set the conversation about their strategies on 2C in the context of the bigger picture. So, that’s my first observation.

The second thing I’d say is, these are companies that are extraordinary reservoirs, if I can use that term, of engineering expertise. I think we will want that capacity in our lives and the question is how does it evolve? How does it in some way get repurposed to the extent that as a society we choose to continue making use of fossil fuels in one form or another and we may well do – don’t rule it out – because I think it’s not naive but it’s ruling out one of the quite plausible pathways, including a pathway that was put on the table by the IPCC, right. The IPCC says we will need carbon capture and storage if we’re going to have any hope of a 2C world. We will need it combined growth with bioenergy, the whole BECCS thing. Now you know, you and I can agree or disagree, whether that’s a plausible pathway – sounds kind of pretty stretchy to me – but nonetheless it’s in the range of what’s being described by the world’s authoritative scientific body on this topic. And, if we’re ever going to have CCS at meaningful scale, we’d better have a fossil fuel industry that is part of that solution. So, I’m in the camp which is looking to challenge these guys about the nature of energy transitions, challenge them on how they see being part of the solution but essentially, looking to think through with them how is it they’re going to evolve over the next ten to 15 years to be part of quote unquote the new climate economy. Because if they don’t, if they don’t change, they will, I think, be put out of business but for reasons other than, if you will, just to do with climate policy.

CB: In terms of the ten recommendations, the tenth was to suggest a coal phase out, particularly for developed economies. It appeared from the way in which those recommendations were worded to be more of something on the wish list rather than an absolute requirement for success. Can you explain the thinking behind that distinction?

JO: So look, we all know that continued use of unabated coal is in a sense the biggest driver of carbon emissions over the next 20-30 years and creates huge lock in effects and has very substantial local air quality and water scarcity implications, as well. So, that is the context within which we’re operating. The view of the Commission was that the developed economies need to phase out unabated use of coal in the power sector and get on with it, full stop. The view of the Commission was also that – and I confess I can’t remember the exact timing – but by the mid 2020s, you would want to see middle income countries not building any new coal, to the extent they are continuing to. If you use existing coal plants, you would hope they’re looking to upgrade them – and there are huge, huge opportunities for upgrading and changing the way those coal plants operate and reducing the CO2 emissions per kilowatt hour. And so, we should take every advantage of all those opportunities, but no new coal on an unabated basis. And then for the low income countries, our view was that what the evidence seems to suggest is that if A and B have happened, if the advanced economies have phased out unabated coal, if the middle income countries have a clear kind of pathway to do that, that there is a little bit more room under those conditions for low income countries to continue building some new coal. It has to be at the top end of the efficiency spectrum and in our view, it should be in the context of a plan over time to get out of coal. So, it shouldn’t just be an open ended option. Now, that’s why I think this kind of conversation is such a good format, because it takes more than a soundbite to describe a nuanced, differentiated, segmented strategy for how we, over time, transition. There are some contingencies in there. So, for example, if CCS really took off, then the parameters shift a bit. If it doesn’t take off at all, if it continues to sort of go nowhere, then the speed with which we need to move away from coal – and, by the way, other fossil fuels – goes up. So, I think the next five to ten years is critical in terms of figuring out whether the world’s serious about CCS. And if it’s not, the parameters within which any of the choices on the continued use of coal get played out become much tighter.

CB: I’d like to move on to talking about Paris. You’ve already said that you think we’re in a dynamic learning environment where we’ve learned a lot since Copenhagen. Does that mean you’re optimistic for Paris, and how would you see the key outcomes emerging, and are you optimistic, therefore, for 2 degrees in the longer term?


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JO: I’m optimistic that there will be an agreement coming out of Paris. I’m optimistic that – I don’t know if this is realistic – but I hope that we will get a commitment to net-zero [emissions]. I think the wording is likely to be in the second half of the century, as opposed to being in 2050. But I think if we can define where North is, that is a critical anchor. I am hopeful that the [ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions] INDC commitments that come in will be somewhere probably, this time around, somewhere in the 2.5 degree range. I doubt that they’ll be in the two degree range. I hope we’ll be doing better than three. So, somewhere probably between 2.5 and three would be my guess. We all know that there’s a gap, that’s likely. I’m hopeful that there’ll be a much stronger, if you will, appreciation, in a semi-formal fashion, of the role that the private sector can provide. I’m hopeful that there will be a thoughtful and intelligent approach to financing . I think we shouldn’t get too fixated about the 100 billion [ promised support via the Green Climate Fund]. I know everybody is fixated on that one number, and it’s just such a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. So, those are all things that I think we may get some specific propositions around. I hope there’s a deal around the forestry part of it, because it’s such an important piece, not just in terms of the forest’s at stake but also the wider land-use and recognition of land-use, as an integral part of this whole agenda.

And then, beyond that, what we need to see is a mechanism that creates both that learning and also trust. And, let’s just be really straight with each other that there’s a lot of distrust as countries walk into this process. And there are still, I think, people out there who would say even the New Climate Economy narrative was just a sort-of elegant way for the rich countries to explain to the middle-income and lower-income countries that they should just get on and grow their economy in the right way, without any help, because it’s all in your economic interest anyway, and all will be good. That’s not our view. I think we are very clear in the report that this is a partnership. It’s not just leaving it to developing countries to do their own thing.

But we need to create that basis of an opportunity in five-years time, in 2020, to come back and take another look and say well, what have we leant? How cheap is solar now? Have we made any progress on CCS? Have there been more material climate risks emerging faster? Because actually, when we look at the pattern of severe weather events, the 1 in 100 event turns out to be, over the last five years, 1 in 20. It’s becoming systematic, not just random. So, I think the next 5 years will be a period of astonishing, accelerated learning so that we can pick out the signal from the noise. So, my hope is that Paris will be the basis upon which we set ourselves on a course, to do that learning. And then five years from now, we’ll ratchet up again. Because we’ll know a lot more than we know now. We will know whether or not there’s been any progress on CCS, right. And if not, there are consequences of that. And that’s, I hope, the spirit in which we will both walk into Paris and also walk out of Paris. The world also doesn’t stop when the COP shuts and, you know, it’s December or whatever it is. The world will continue to move forward and, therefore, I think one of the things we’ve absolutely got to get our head around is implementation post-Paris. I think we need to get away from being just in a kind-of architectural game about the grand theory of this and into the plumbing game of implementation, done with discipline and done with real efficiency. If we can get into our mindset that that’s where this is heading, there’s a chance that Paris will really prove to be a turning point.

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CB: Let’s maybe take one example from what you’ve been taking about. It’s often argued that public climate finance is insufficient, and you said you wish people wouldn’t fixate on the 100 billion. So, how can public money be used to unlock private climate finance, and can you give a specific example of that?

JO: It’s used all over that world. We in this country have been pioneers in the public-private partnership or public-private finance models, and people can debate whether they were good or bad in terms of their efficiency. And the NHS, I mean there’ll be an endless debate, right. But the history of how infrastructure gets built in many parts of the world is that you have three components. One is a good, if you will, regulatory environment that is stable and has a basis upon which people can make investments. There is, in any infrastructure play, some form of public capital, in one way or another. Sometimes it’s explicit, it’s just public investment into the infrastructure. Sometimes it’s implicit in the form of guarantees. Sometimes it’s through the different forms of development banking that countries have, to provide financial support and comfort [to indicate] that these are projects that should go ahead. Sometimes it’s the multilateral development banks. There are a hundred different ways in which we can bring a mix of the right regulation, good public finance, of which stuff that’s straight off the government balance sheet is only a piece of what we can bring. And then we need to be able to crowd in long-term private capital.

And you know that we’re sitting in a world where there are trillions of dollars on institutional investor’s balance sheets. The savings of the ageing world need a home, right? And that home if it’s going to give us, and I include myself in this, the kind of returns that we’re going to need for our pensions, cannot be on the back of zero or 1% government bonds in the developed world. I mean, if we’re in a long-term era of very low interest rates, which seems to be the case, then we desperately need the kind of investments that look more like 3, 5, 7% – and I think that, therefore, the opportunity for a deal on that basis is huge. Yesterday or the day before, the Indian government was able to issue a sovereign bond for its investments in renewable energy, in support of that, at 2.75%. And it’s looking to expand it’s green bond portfolio. Who would have thought India would be able to raise money on the international capital markets at 2.75%? This is fantastic, this is the New Climate Economy playing out through the capital.

CB: In terms of negotiating a global climate deal, much of the focus over the past decade has been on China. Since the joint US-China climate announcement last year, the focus has perhaps shifted towards India as a potential road-block to a deal. Do you think that focus is well-founded?


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JO: I think everybody needs to get on board. I don’t think we should be creating heroes and villains here. India has a huge challenge of developing its economy. And, you know, it needs twenty years of growth at the 7% plus level, to take 400 or 500 million people out of poverty. That will be the overriding political priority for any Indian government. And so our task, if you will, is to help the Modi government, and any other government in India, think through where are the opportunities, right back to the beginning of this interview, to create a sweet spot between economic growth and taking action on climate. And, by the way, reducing the very costly local air quality and other environmental costs that are associated with your more traditional forms of development.

I don’t think it will be in India’s interest to do a copy-paste of China’s model of economic growth, which was very energy intensive, very capital-intensive, in fact, and has been very pollution-intensive. And a strong export-orientation as well. I think the Indian growth model will be different from that. It will be different because actually, the choices in terms of energy mix are very different for India as compared with China. The access to coal – even inside India, although there are lots of reserves – is quite complex, as you’re aware. The technology opportunities around renewables, are radically different today from those that were available to the Chinese government in the early 1990s. The structure of the world economy is radically different. So, the chance for India to come in and play an energy-intensive export-intensive industrialisation strategy, I don’t think is there, if you look at global value chains, in the same way as it was available to China. So, I think that the opportunity for India is to fashion a different economic growth strategy, one that is inclusive and is right for its society, and to take advantage of this transformative shift in technologies that are becoming available. And, can we help? I mean, I would like governments, including the UK government, to make sure that, insofar as there is concession on climate finances available, that India gets its fair share.

And you can’t just say, well now India’s a middle income country and, therefore, there are more poor people in India than in any other country on the planet. So, we’ve got to have an intelligent, sophisticated understanding of that and integrate that into how we provide support to multiple means, whether it’s technology or the use of concessional finance, whether it’s called climate finance or development finance.

CB: Some recent research on climate tipping points, and the economic impacts of climate damages suggests that current estimates for the cost of greenhouse gas emissions might be seriously underestimated. So, what’s your view on the true cost of greenhouse gas emissions, and how should the world move towards attaching that cost to polluting activities?

JO: There are a huge range of estimates on the potential costs. We looked at those in our work. The focus of the New Climate Economy project was really on the other side of the story, which was, how do we build economies that are able to grow and cut carbon emissions, and many other things, at the same time. Whether the costs of climate are low, medium or high? So, I think there’ll be a never ending debate on those tipping point. I think people will argue forever, for example, on the extent to which we can adapt, the extent to which we can develop technologies that will deal with some of those tipping points. So, we’ll get into an endless fight about that stuff.

Our view is that there are significant costs. That they are non-linear – that’s the key to this. As you move up that change in temperature – from half a degree to one degree, from one to 1.5, 1.5 to two – at each point, they are increasing in a non-linear way. So, while there is an international consensus on two, it’s a necessary anchor, right. But I bet you you’ll find people who debate where in that non-linear curve two really sits.

Our core proposition is let’s get on and build better economies, let’s absolutely recognise the non-linearities in the system. The more we can put in place the right growth agenda, not only will it help on the mitigation side but it can also help on the resilience piece of this. And there are no better examples of that than in land-use. Where protecting the forests is critical from a carbon-sink point of view. It’s also really important in terms of the maintenance of soil, and water-management, and the local ecosystem. And so let’s understand some of our absolutely precious forms of natural capital and how they can play, not just roles in terms of low-carbon growth, but in tackling and addressing some of the concerns that people are rightly raising around these tipping points.

CB: Well, I think we’re probably out of time, so thanks very much for your time.

JO: A pleasure. Thank-you very much indeed for the conversation.

Main image: Film camera.

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