Climate change is affecting ecosystems as well as the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on them in every corner of the Earth. The world has warmed by less than 1 degree Celsius, and we are racing to stay below 2 degrees. Yet the construction of new fossil fuel-fired power plants has accelerated over the last decade. Every new coal-fired power plant, every coal terminal, every new oilfield represents more sunk cost and more inertia in the system. If it is built. If it opens. If it operates.
But the outcome of these decisions is not a foregone conclusion. We can and must change the economics that make fossil fuels look like profitable investments. By changing the laws that allow fossil fuel producers and investors to shift the social and environmental costs of those investments to others, we can make fossil fuels more expensive and riskier than cleaner alternatives. By changing the calculus, we can change behavior, and we can transition to cleaner energy alternatives.