To meet the UK’s 2050 net-zero target, technological, societal and nature-based solutions, innovative business models, regulatory arrangements and new incentives to change behaviours will be required to reduce carbon emissions in all sectors of our economy and society.
This briefing sets out a vision of plausible net-zero solutions and research priorities across different sectors to highlight, based on the available evidence, what we already know and what still requires further research. We then specify actions and co-benefits resulting from these solutions. The report focuses on innovations for this decade across eight sectors, as outlined in the Climate Change Committee’s net-zero report, in no particular order.
The briefing presents the following key messages:
- Technological, societal and nature-based solutions should work together to enable systemic change towards a regenerative society and to deliver net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Prioritize research into efficient, low-carbon and carbon-negative solutions for sectors that are difficult to decarbonize, such as energy storage, road transport, shipping, aviation and grid infrastructure.
- Each solution should be assessed with respect to GHG emissions reductions, energy efficiency and societal implications to provide a basis for developing long-term policies, maximizing positive impact of investment and research effort, and guiding industry investors in safe and responsible planning.