The dangerous obsession with net-zero

Over-simplifying climate change

Despite a heated debate at COP28 over whether the world should be phasing-out fossil fuels altogether, Net Zero remains the collectively agreed target. But as Mike Hulme argues, Net Zero is both a misguided and dangerous goal. It reduces the complex problem of climate change to an over-simplistic metric, and ignores the unintended consequences of the policy, many of which would exacerbate the problems that climate change poses in the first place.


At various times in human history, the world’s community of nations has been urged by campaigners to come together around a universal moral goal.  Examples might include ‘the rights of man’, the abolition of slavery, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or ‘making poverty history’.  Within the last 10 years a new goal has gained global recognition and ascendancy: securing ‘net-zero emissions’.  I believe collapsing global policymaking for the future around this singular goal is both misguided a

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