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net zero insights energy transition

13 July 2022

Episode #6
A warming world: the urgency of the energy transition

Can an urgent transition limit warming enough to prevent catastrophic climate change? How important is achieving the energy transition at speed in hitting our targets?

Let's once and for all put in the waste bin this whole notion of offsetting. There is no room for offsetting anymore. Today, the global carbon budget for the energy transition is so small, we can only hit 1.5 if we also keep nature in tact... you have to both phase out fossil fuels and invest in nature. You cannot use it as offsetting against slow emissions reductions. ”

Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


We were delighted to speak to internationally recognised climate scientist Johan Rockström from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Chief Energy Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA) Tim Gould to explore the importance of an urgent transition. We discussed…

  • The material difference between limiting global warming to 1.5 and 2 degrees & the pathways we need to take to limit emissions
  • The challenges posed by geopolitics and the fossil fuel industry’s near term expansion plans
  • Reasons be optimistic: the virtuous combination of policy support, innovation, and falling costs

Check out all the episodes from season one here.


Johan Rockström

Johan Rockström
Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Johan Rockström is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues. He led the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change. He is a leading scientist on global water resources, with more than 25 years experience in applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 150 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability.

Tim Gould

Tim Gould
Chief Energy Economist, International Energy Agency

Tim Gould was appointed the Agency’s Chief Energy Economist in 2021. As Chief Energy Economist, he provides strategic advice on energy economics across a wide range of IEA activities and analysis. Mr Gould is also Head of the Division for Energy Supply and Investment Outlooks, in which capacity he co-leads the World Energy Outlook, the IEA’s flagship publication, and oversees the Agency’s work on investment and finance, including the World Energy Investment report.