Financial times’ Pilita Clark Discusses the Carbon Takeback Obligation

Financial Times associate editor and business columnist Pilita Clark spoke with PACE Advisor and Director of Oxford Net Zero Myles Allen about the Carbon Takeback Obligation. This policy, which would require companies that extract or import fossil fuels to take a percentage of the carbon dioxide generated by the products they sell and permanently store it, holds producers responsible for the carbon pollution from fossil fuel use.

From the article:

But none of these developments guarantee that global emissions will fall as quickly as they must. “And also, why should cash-strapped taxpayers pay for this when the industry is making out like bandits?” says Oxford university’s Professor Myles Allen, who has spearheaded the carbon takeback idea.

That is an important point. So too is Allen’s insistence that an idea like carbon takeback can never be a replacement for all climate change policies. “It’s a backstop policy,” he says. “It guarantees that no matter what happens to other costs — if renewables don’t work out as cheap as you hope or if fossil fuels suddenly get cheaper than expected — you still make sure that you get to net zero at the date you’ve set.”

When Allen was first writing about the carbon takeback idea in 2009, critics understandably told him that fossil fuels should be phased out entirely. This has not happened and, meanwhile, emerging market countries have become more insistent that they should have the right to exploit their own fossil fuel reserves. A carbon takeback obligation would still allow that, as long as the resulting carbon emissions were safely disposed of.

Ultimately, the world is running out of options.

The full article is available here.

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