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We need to act five times faster to avoid dangerous climate change. As Greenland melts, Australia burns, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we think we know who the villains are: oil companies, consumerism, weak political leaders. But what if the real blocks to progress are the ideas and institutions that are supposed to be helping us? Five Times Faster is an inside story from Simon Sharpe, who has spent ten years at the forefront of climate change policy and diplomacy. In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change, science is pulling its punches, diplomacy is picking the wrong battles, and economics has been fighting for the other side. This provocative and engaging book sets out how we should rethink our strategies and reorganise our efforts in the fields of science, economics, and diplomacy, so that we can act fast enough to stay safe.


‘Pace is truly what matters in the climate fight - and the idea in this book that intrigues me the most is that a certain kind of reductionism has blinded us to the common interests that need to guide our work if it's going to happen in time.’

Bill McKibben - author of The End of Nature

‘Now more than ever, there is an obvious need for a full assessment of the risks of climate change to be given to heads of government and their advisers. And yet still this is missing … I strongly support this book, which brings the risks of climate change and potential solutions to a wider audience. There is no-one I can think of in the world who could do this better than Simon Sharpe.’

Sir David King - Founder and Chair, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University; Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government; former UK Climate Envoy

‘This book needs to be read, and its recommendations embraced, by all those seeking to make rapid progress in the fight to preserve a habitable planet. Simon has witnessed first-hand how progress is being impeded by … [and] his book presents a blueprint for the way climate science should be conducted and presented, how thinking about the economy should change, and international diplomacy be redesigned. It's a much-needed new take on a problem we've been wrestling with for decades but making only sporadic progress in addressing.’

Baroness Bryony Worthington - leading creator of the UK’s Climate Change Act; former Europe Director, Environmental Defense Fund; member of the UK House of Lords

‘In a crowded market, this book promises to stand out head and shoulders above the rest as a seminal, timely, and much needed synthesis of the lessons learned from five decades of effort by scientists, the business community, and politicians on how to address the threat of climate catastrophe. Simon Sharpe has been a thought leader at the core of diplomatic and government activity … The lessons learned that he describes, and the approaches he recommends, could genuinely cut Gordian knots and allow new levels of progress. I cannot recommend this book more highly.’

Chris Rapley CBE - former Director of the Science Museum, former Director of the British Antarctic Survey

‘The Race To Zero is the biggest ever global campaign to deliver a zero carbon future as soon as possible. It is an exercise in radical collaboration to drive non-linear change in every sector of the economy. Simon Sharpe's informative and accessible book will provide a manual for scientists, CEOs and policy makers to work together to deliver systemic transformation much faster than current efforts.’

Nigel Topping - High Level Climate Action Champion, UNFCCC COP26

‘As the world is suffocating under extreme weather events, widespread food and water scarcity, destruction of ecosystems, and a series of other interrelated climate-linked crises, Simon Sharpe’s book is a breath of fresh air … Five Times Faster takes you on a captivating - yet alarming - journey through the complexities of climate change … Simon’s book is an important leap in the right direction.’

Mariana Mazzucato - University College, London, and author of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism

'We need to act five times faster to avoid dangerous climate change. So says the policy insider author of this look at how the real blocks to progress might be the ideas and institutions that are meant to be helping us; from the science that is pulling its punches, to diplomacy that is picking the wrong battles.'

Source: The Bookseller

‘An absorbing new insider’s account.’

Pilita Clark Source: Financial Times

'In his excellent and informative book Five Times Faster, Simon Sharpe proposes solutions to climate change challenges on three fronts: science, economics, and policy … an important book that focuses on the too often overlooked problem of pace and the need to turn procrastination into bold action.'

Jeff Fleischer Source: Foreword Reviews

‘… Sharpe's prose is crisp and urgent …’

Source: Publishers Weekly

‘Five Times Faster is based on robust analysis and succeeds in treading the fine line between optimism and realism. If you're serious about tackling the climate crisis, make time to read it.’

Bob Ward Source: The Observer

'… packed with the insights gained from years of close involvement in processes that are obscure from the outside.'

Source: Prospect Magazine

'It has become apparent that, just as renewables must replace coal power stations, we need entirely new ways of thinking about the climate dilemma. Three books published this year attempt to do just this for fields that run from science and economics to politics … The most provocative is the non-fiction Five Times Faster, an insider’s account of government efforts to cut emissions by former British civil servant Simon Sharpe.'

Pilita Clark Source: Financial Times

'Five Times Faster shift[s] the focus to national and international initiatives and policies … [and explains] that individual climate action includes making effective political choices.'

Source: Yale Climate Connections

'By persuasively shifting the narrative to encourage ambitious policy action, influential book’s like Sharpe’s becomes a part of the dynamic ecosystem that induces the clean innovation we desperately need.'

Source: Forbes

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