New e-book: “Putting the Genie Back: Why Carbon Pricing Matters”

In his latest publication, David moves on from the challenge of containing temperature rises caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) to examine one of the potential solutions in depth – government carbon “pricing” systems.

He argues that carbon “pricing” – a system to charge emitters for every tonne of CO2 they release into the atmosphere – is an essential tool to help reduce carbon emissions, and a necessary political response to climate change.

Drawing on his weekly blog posts, the e-book presents the economic reasoning for carbon “pricing” systems as having the potential to shift global energy investment, for example by helping the least-developed economies accumulate the funds they need to build sustainable energy systems.

Most importantly, he writes, carbon “pricing” offers the prospect of not only solving the carbon emissions problem, but doing so equitably and at the least cost to society.

“My generation can’t correct the problem before we hand over, but we can at least implement one of the tools the next generation will need to turn the corner and actually start reducing global carbon dioxide emissions,” he writes.

David makes carbon pricing simple in this short animation on YouTube.

First e-book: "Putting the Genie Back: 2°C Will Be Harder than We Think"

David’s first e-book drew on posts he wrote for his weekly blog between 2008 and 2014. During this time he published more than 250 posts, covering almost all aspects of climate change.

The book explores the challenge facing today’s decision-makers to keep global temperature rises caused by COemissions below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels.

“The question we face is, how much can we emit before a rise in the surface temperature triggers changes in sea level and the climate that become problematic, or worse, to adapt to?” David asks.

In the meantime, annual COemissions continue to rise – towards 40 billion tonnes – yet at some point this century society will need to achieve net-zero emissions.

This means that the world will need to offset remaining emissions. One way to do this is to combine sustainable biomass gasification with the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) in power generation. Other ways include agricultural practices that raise the carbon content of the soil, and reforestation. The result is that carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere, offsetting unavoidable emissions elsewhere.

All proceeds from David’s e-books will be donated to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and 2041, two non-governmental organisations that he has worked with over many years.

Shell continues to hold a corporate position on these and other issues which David plays a role in developing as part of his job.

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