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Delivering net zero in the UK: twelve conditions for success

Carr-Whitworth, Rachel, Barrett, John, Colechin, Mike, Pidgeon, Nick ORCID:, Styles, Robin, Betts-Davies, Sam, Cox, Emily ORCID:, Watson, Anna and Wilson, Oisin 2023. Delivering net zero in the UK: twelve conditions for success. Environmental Research Letters 18 (7) , 074041. 10.1088/1748-9326/ace199

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero (NZ) as rapidly as possible is imperative to limiting climate change, and this requires an unprecedented transformation of socio-technical-political systems which govern the energy system. To guide this transition, evidence from a broad range of disciplines is needed, yet rarely are experts able to speak with a coordinated voice on the conditions needed to transform the whole system. Here we draw on novel data from a series of deliberative workshops utilising consensus building techniques with 83 experts and stakeholders from the public, private and third sector, to understand the conditions needed to deliver NZ in the UK. About 12 core conditions are presented: (1) act now to deploy 'low regret' solutions on a large scale; (2) to learn from successes and failures, monitor, evaluate and communicate outcomes; (3) clarify governance structures, expectations and responsibilities; (4) upskill and capacity build in the workforce and government; (5) better account for the importance of place and spatial dimensions of the NZ transition; (6) actively engage communities in the changes taking place; (7) realise a just transition; (8) challenge the role of power and vested interests in downplaying and delaying NZ; (9) take an interdisciplinary and whole systems approach; (10) review the research and innovation funding landscape; (11) incentivise collaboration and reward impact; (12) explore competing narratives and transition pathways. Taken together, these conditions can guide decision making and future research agendas in climate change mitigation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 1748-9326
Funders: UKRI
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 26 June 2023
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:46

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