A new report by Energy Systems Catapult has found Net Zero by 2050 is possible if the UK supports innovation and scale-up across three essential areas – Low Carbon Technology, Land Use and Lifestyle.
The Innovating to Net Zero UK report modelled 100s of potential pathways to 2050 – ramping up or down different technologies and behaviour changes – to understand the combinations, interactions and trade-offs of competing decarbonisation approaches.
Meeting the UK’s Net Zero target will require unprecedented innovation across the economy. Innovation not just in new technologies, but in new ways of deploying existing technologies, new business models, new consumer offerings, and, crucially, new policy, regulation and market design.
The Net Zero Challenge and Opportunity
In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change published evidence on what would be required for a 1.5°C limit and the implications of not doing so.
In May 2019, the CCC recommended to the UK Government a Net Zero emissions target by 2050. Advice that was accompanied by supporting research, including our Living Carbon Free report which set out the implications for households.
In June 2019, the UK Government amended the Climate Change Act from 80% to 100% GHG reduced emissions – or Net Zero – by 2050. ‘Net’ means balancing any residual carbon emissions by 2050 with an equal quantity of carbon dioxide removals from the atmosphere, as long as this takes place in the UK.
In March 2020, Energy Systems Catapult released an update of its internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME) to take account of Net Zero targets. Find more here