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Journal article

Global emissions: new oil investments boost carbon lock-in

This correspondence links previous work by the authors to ongoing debates about the development of offshore oil resources.

Michael Lazarus, Peter Erickson / Published on 6 October 2015

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Erickson, P., and M. Lazarus (2015). Global emissions: new oil investments boost carbon lock-in. Nature 526, 43.

World leaders urgently need to curtail the billions of dollars that are currently earmarked for oil exploration and extraction. Bringing new oil supplies to market could have an unexpectedly large impact on global emissions (see P. Erickson and M. Lazarus Nature Clim. Change 4, 778–781; 2014). Aside from increasing carbon dioxide emissions in the short term, new sources of oil make it harder and more expensive to scale down production in the long term. This ‘carbon lock-in’ entrenches our dependence on fossil fuels and commits economies to higher emissions (see djtala).


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SEI authors

Michael Lazarus
Michael Lazarus

Senior Scientist


Peter Erickson

SEI Affiliated Researcher


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10.1038/526043c Closed access
Topics and subtopics
Climate : Mitigation, Fossil fuels
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