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Initiative

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SEI Initiative on Carbon Lock-In

The Carbon Lock-In Initiative seeks to uncover and address the interwoven social, political and technical barriers that uphold the high-carbon economy. Through research and policy engagement, we will identify policies and strategies to break dependence on high-carbon industries in order to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

Active project

2020–2025

To limit dangerous global warming, the world must transition to a low-carbon economy. But this energy transition is moving too slowly – not because of a lack in technology or public support, but because of social, political, and technical barriers.

These interwoven barriers form the foundation of “carbon lock-in”, whereby ongoing investment in fossil fuel development becomes self-reinforcing and, consequently, inhibits the growth of the new green economy. Reducing global emissions requires that we address and “unlock” this entrenched high-carbon system.

The SEI Initiative on Carbon Lock-In aims to bring this issue to the forefront of climate and energy policy-making. Research will reveal how and why carbon lock-in is perpetuated – both within countries and globally – and will identify policies and strategies to break dependence on high-carbon industries. This initiative will also explore how international regimes, such as the UN Framework on Climate Change, can guide the transition away from fossil fuels.

This initiative takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining expertise on energy systems, economics, sociology, political science and health to answer a crucial question: How can society tackle carbon lock-in, and make space for a low-carbon future?

The Carbon Lock-In Initiative builds on SEI’s existing project-based work on carbon lock-in and work conducted in the previous initiative on fossil fuels and climate change.

Project team

Claudia Strambo
Claudia Strambo

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Peter Erickson

SEI Affiliated Researcher

SEI US

Cleo Verkuijl
Cleo Verkuijl

Scientist

SEI US

Michael Lazarus
Michael Lazarus

Senior Scientist

SEI US

Profile picture of Sivan Kartha
Sivan Kartha

Equitable Transitions Program Director

SEI US

Elisa Arond

Research Fellow

SEI Latin America

David Purkey

Centre Director

SEI Latin America

Ploy Achakulwisut

Research Fellow

SEI US

José Vega Araújo

Research Associate

SEI Latin America

Natalia Ortiz

Communications Officer

Communications

SEI Latin America

Miquel Muñoz Cabré

Senior Scientist

SEI US

Stefan Bößner
Stefan Bößner

Research Fellow

SEI Asia

Jindan Gong
Jindan Gong

Research Associate

SEI Headquarters

Anisha Nazareth
Anisha Nazareth

Associate Scientist

SEI US

Camilo Martelo

Acting Communications Officer

Communications

SEI Latin America

Lynsi Burton

Communications Officer

Communications

SEI US

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