1. Introduction
Climate change and decarbonisation

A central plank in the climate change debate that was roiling in Cop 26 is that of decarbonization. To try and stablise the climate at 1.5 degrees and pursue a “net zero” strategy, by global leaders by 2050, there is a need to deal with the global carbon budget. If there is going to be any remote chance (measured broadly as two in three) of meeting the 1.5 degrees, the ceiling for CO2 emission needs to be fixed at 420 gigatonnes.

It is argued that this budget is likely to be exhausted by 2030.This is because by 2030 global fossil fuel production is expected to be 105% higher than the volume necessary to keep to the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees. This data calls for a radically new economic and social scenario for the world’s net zero ambitions to be fulfilled which is being undermined by concerns over rising energy prices.

Talks of a global energy crisis, a drop in investment due to shattered confidence among energy investors, inform the narrative of the fossil fuel lobby (Tooze, 2021)[i], which point to the negative externalities such as the rise in food and other prices… more

* By Jay Mitra, Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Essex Business School, University of Essex, and INSME Board Member.
This Issues Paper has been developed for the 2021 INSME Annual Meeting “SMEs as Drivers of a Sustainable Recovery” held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Learn more on the event here.