OECD COP28 Virtual Pavilion

Correcting course to 1.5°C: Positive tipping points in the transition to net zero

Dec 7, 2023 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM


The concept of positive tipping points is gaining significant traction within the climate policy community. It is largely concerned with the dynamics and intervention points within systems that can catalyse the exponential growth of new emission-saving actions and innovations and help to accelerate the pathway to net zero. The 'tipping point' term typically refers to the crossing of thresholds within systems (e.g. relating to cost competitiveness of low-carbon innovations or critical mass of political support) after which emission reductions rapidly accelerate and become self-propelling due to reinforcing feedbacks. Some of these reinforcing feedbacks are well understood such as R&D spill-overs and learning curves, but there are others that are less well-researched. Positive tipping points span various domains of human systems including technological, social, economic and political systems. For example, societal support for climate action and behavioural transformations such as widespread adoption of new habits or social norms could play a seismic role in propelling the net zero transition. This session will bring together some of the leading experts working to define and identify positive tipping points to discuss progress being made and the implications this has for policy making. The discussion will focus on how policy makers, including within the OECD, can utilise positive tipping point dynamics to enhance climate mitigation efforts.

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Opening remarks 

Moderated by

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