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March 21, 2024

Five Times Faster: Ways to Accelerate the Transition to Net-Zero

Hear from Simon Sharpe, Director of Economics at the UNFCCC Climate Champions, as we explore three key problems that are impeding the transition to net-zero and how to address them.

We know that reaching net zero emissions quickly enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change will be very challenging. But are we making it even more difficult than it needs to be?

Today’s guest thinks so, particularly when it comes to climate science, economics, and climate diplomacy. That’s why in today’s episode, we’ll be looking at how we could make all three work more effectively.  We’ll explore:

  • How climate science must change in order to generate meaningful action within our political institutions;
  • How economists became overly fixated on carbon pricing, while missing other policies that would be even more impactful in accelerating the transition to net zero;
  • And how the current model of climate diplomacy could be altered to allow for faster net zero negotiations.

To find out more about the Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate, follow this link:

For more information on climate risk, visit GARP’s Global Sustainability and Climate Risk Resource Center:

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Speaker’s Bio

Simon Sharpe, Director of Economics, UNFCCC Climate Champions

Simon took up his current role in early 2022, having previously held several senior positions in the UK government, including as Deputy Director of the COP26 Unit, and as Head of Climate Change Strategy for both the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In 2013-15, he created an international climate change risk assessment project, working with experts from the UK, USA, China, India, and other countries. In addition to influencing the understanding and assessment of climate change risk in its partner countries, its findings were extensively cited by the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary General. It also inspired new thinking in the academic community, with a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change using it to argue that ‘climate science needs to take risk assessment much more seriously’. More recently, he has worked with partners in the UK, China, India and Brazil to create the world’s first government-backed project to apply complexity economics to climate change. His paper on economic tipping points, ‘Upward-scaling tipping cascades to meet climate goals: plausible grounds for hope’, was the most downloaded paper in Climate Policy journal in 2021.

Simon has published influential reports and created ground-breaking international projects in climate change risk assessment, economics, and diplomacy. His recent book, “Five Times Faster,”  draws from Simon’s ten years’ experience at the forefront of climate change policy and diplomacy.


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