University of Oxford advocates fossil fuel producer accountability

Backing up editorial published by Air Quality News in 2022, the world’s most prestigious academic institution believes firms extracting, refining and selling oil and gas should pay for the carbon clean up. 

A new paper, Extended Producer Responsibility for Fossil Fuels, written by a team of international experts including Myles Allen, Oxford Professor of Geosystem Science, clarifies the Oxford University’s stance on how to step up efforts to capture and store greenhouse gases, with a focus on fossil fuel producers funding the cost of increasing infrastructure and capacity. 

 ‘The crucial point about this new paper…is we could stop fossil fuels causing global warming, we could do it in a generation without upending the world economy, but only if we introduce a radical approach to climate policy: this is the idea of extending the principle of producer responsibility to fossil fuels,’ Professor Allen told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after the paper was published.

‘What we’ve demonstrated is that, if we implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in combination with other climate solutions, we can protect our energy security while taking meaningful climate action. This is incredibly important at a moment when nations have made it clear that they will prioritise the former over the latter,’ added Stuart Jenkins, Oxford researcher and the paper’s lead author. 

In September last year, Air Quality News published a long-read interview with Hugh Helferty, a former-ExxonMobil research scientist who has long advocated for carbon producer accountability within the fossil fuel sector and contributed to the Oxford research. You can read the feature interview here, and watch Professor Allen explaining the principle of carbon capture below.

Image: Jasmin Sessler


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