Skip to main content

Cardiff University research-led project aims to produce ‘shared vision’ on UK's net zero pledge

9 November 2020

Large chimneys burning stock image

Cardiff University has launched a research-led project to help identify urgent initial steps – and a longer-term strategy – to help deliver the UK’s ambitious target of hitting net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Delivering Net Zero, led by the University’s School of Psychology and Understanding Risk Research Group, will focus on the role of research in the challenge to transition the UK.

It will seek to source and utilise the best academic research to provide clarity on the options for how this can be achieved – and identify any further research needed.

The team will work with stakeholders from academia and industry to produce a “shared vision” on what is required in the short term (the next 10 years) and in the longer term (from 2030 onwards).

In the project, commissioned and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the team will explore all aspects ranging across financial considerations, the ways our energy systems and use may change, and the benefits of different technologies.

It will feature a series of workshops with leading UK academics and key stakeholders from the public, private and third sector focusing on the areas of decarbonisation, energy demand, carbon capture and removal, and the social and economic implications of net zero.

Delivering Net Zero infographic

Professor Nick Pidgeon, Professor of Environmental Psychology and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group, said: "To achieve net zero the UK must act now because we need rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the short term to avoid a climate crisis.

“Academic support and frameworks are essential to provide the best available scientific evidence to inform decision making. This project will work with leading UK academics to collate their thinking and research to articulate a consensus to help avoid decisions being made without relying on such evidence.

"With this project we are seeking to ensure that the UKRI Energy & Decarbonisation Programme has the maximum opportunity to inform and guide the response of UK decision makers to climate change. We will apply a whole systems approach and produce a shared vision outlining a narrative for net zero in the short term, the next decade, and for the longer term, from 2030 onwards

"Our aim for the project is to provide decision makers involved in net zero with the best academic evidence available to create an environment whereby rapid but above all robust decisions made in the UK are informed by the most advanced research on climate mitigation."

The Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds and the innovation research consultancy Cultivate Innovation are delivery partners.

Read more about the Delivering Net Zero project.