Swap point sources: your ideas?

A Guest Blog by 6heads member Samuel Gordon

The consensus is in: we need to get to zero emissions. The recent IPCC report made clear that global emissions need to broadly halve by 2030 and drop to zero by midcentury. We’re likely to need technology which absorbs emissions too. We have a lot to do.

As part of this, those of us in the UK need to change our approach. Electricity generation is no longer the largest source of CO2 emissions, with emissions from transport overtaking it in 2016. Going forward, we will need to encourage different stakeholders to act.

A simple change in messaging might help. Rather than telling people to “cut emissions by 2050”, let’s ask them instead to “swap point sources” for zero-emission alternatives. A ‘point source’ is where emissions are physically produced, and examples for CO2 include engines, boilers and also ovens. Examples of zero-emission alternatives include electric cars, heat pumps and electric ovens.

Asking people to “swap point sources” is powerful in many ways. It’s impels a positive action rather than a negative action, moving us past the de-motivating message of “doom and gloom”. The goal is much more tangible and immediate, and people don’t need to understand complex science to understand how to help. What’s more, this approach could get people thinking more creatively. It could galvanise bolder steps towards zero emissions.

Our 6 heads member Samuel Gordon has been collating a lot of feedback on this idea over the past few months, and would like to start mapping out a detailed plan to swap point sources in practice. What parts of the swapping process do we need to change, who needs to know, and where could we make the biggest difference?

Would you like to take part in aworkshop to explore this? If so, please get in touch with Sam at motivated.sam@gmail.com


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