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What are the 'positive tipping points' that could help us accelerate out of climate disaster?

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Climate 'tipping points' are the dangerous phenomena that could suddenly make climate change even worse than it is already: melting ice sheets that could change ocean currents, thawing permafrost that releases vast amounts of methane, or rainforests turning into dry savannah - events that could completely destabilise the global environment and would be hard or impossible to reverse.

But, according to a growing number of climate scientists, there is also the prospect of ‘positive tipping points’. Things that can happen to speed up the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in ways that humanity has so far failed to achieve.

One of those is Tim Lenton, Professor of Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. As you will hear in the interview, other climate experts use terms such as 'social tipping points' or 'sensitive intervention points' - Professor Lenton says these are similar concepts that altogether should dispel the notion that we are doomed by climate change.


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Podcast transcript

Hosted by:
Robin Pomeroy

Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum

Anna Bruce-Lockhart

Editorial Lead, World Economic Forum


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