Book Chapter

Our Time is Up



Baker K & Wood G (2019) Our Time is Up. In: Wood G & Baker K (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Managing Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 617-620.

This chapter provides concluding thoughts on the urgency and need to manage the decline of fossil fuels as we transition to a low-carbon energy future. In the last few years, the UN has announced that humanity has just 12 years left to prevent a climate catastrophe, school children are taking to the streets to demand action on climate change and governments are declaring climate emergencies. These are unprecedented acts but they will come to little or nothing if we fail to turn those words into actions, and much of the responsibility for that has to fall on policy makers, the energy industry, and all the many stakeholders who will need to be engaged and involved in delivering the transition to a fully decarbonised society. This requires managing the decline of fossil fuels, and this means limiting the extraction of currently available fossil fuel resources, enabling the millions of people employed by the fossil fuel sector to transfer their knowledge and skills to developing and deploying renewable and low-carbon energy industries and building supply chains to supply non-fossil fuels. Policies to decarbonise the energy sector need to be enabled and supported by policies covering buildings, planning, transport, agriculture, forestry, land use and land ownership, and every other aspect of our environment, economy, and society, and at every level. This means every one of us will be affected by this transition, from the wealthy who will need to reduce their energy use to the poorest who will need to be enabled to use energy if the transition is to be an equitable and just one.

Climate Catastrophe; Managing Fossil Fuels; Low Carbon Energy Transitions

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online13/11/2019
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationCham, Switzerland

People (1)


Dr Geoffrey Wood

Dr Geoffrey Wood

Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Law, Law