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Why the concept of net zero is a dangerous trap – podcast

Smoke coming out of chimneys.
Net zero a great idea, in principle, but not in practice. DyziO/Shutterstock

This episode of The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast features prominent academics, including a former IPCC chair, rounding on governments worldwide for using the concept of net zero emissions to “greenwash” their lack of commitment to solving global warming.

You can read the text version of this in-depth article here. The audio version is read by Les Smith in partnership with Noa, News Over Audio. You can listen to more articles from The Conversation, for free, on the Noa app.

James Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Global Systems at the University of Exeter, Robert Watson, Emeritus Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and Wolfgang Knorr, Senior Research Scientist in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University, write about the obvious dangers of the concept of net zero.

They argue that they’ve arrived at the painful realisation that the idea of net zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier “burn now, pay later” approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar. It has also hastened the destruction of the natural world by increasing deforestation today, and greatly increases the risk of further devastation in the future.

The music in In Depth Out Loud is Night Caves, by Lee Rosevere.

This story came out of a project at The Conversation called Insights, which is supported by Research England. You can read more stories in the series here.

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