Monday, 8 February 2021
1 - 2pm
Sensitive intervention points for Net Zero
Cameron Hepburn and Steve Smith in conversation
Achieving net zero emissions involves an economic transformation on a scale comparable to the Victorian era, when the foundations of the infrastructure used in the United Kingdom today were put in place. The scale of the transformation ahead implies that, if successful, our generation will justly be considered the “Victorians of the 21st century".
As part of the Oxford Martin School's Oxford Net Zero series, PCT co-director Cameron Hepburn discusses the economics of the key technologies, which are increasingly positive. The costs of renewables, batteries and electric vehicles continue to fall. Similar trends are emerging in low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia, which can decarbonise major parts of heavy industry, as well as some long-distance transportation. As further deployment and innovations cut costs, it is no longer entirely implausible that net zero emissions could be achieved at net zero cost (even ignoring significant co-benefits and large benefits from avoiding the worst climate impacts).
The talk examines potential sensitive intervention points, with a particular focus on technological interventions to accelerate progress to net zero.