A ground-breaking new international collaboration between academics, business, civil society and citizens has been unveiled today by the UK COP26 Presidency (Friday 18 June), aimed at helping all nations of the world envision what a climate-resilient, net zero future would look like for them.
The ‘Visions for a Net Zero Future’ will bring together academics, business, civil society and citizens to look at the innovations and approaches that could deliver a greener, carbon-neutral society. The project will develop six visions, each focusing on a different region around the world - the UK, Jamaica, Brazil, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and India.
The project will look at issues like electricity generation, agriculture, waste and water management, building design, reforestation and ocean conservation.
It will also demonstrate the advantages of making the transition to net zero, including for health, economic growth, and security, and to create benefits including cleaner air, cheaper energy sources, green jobs, protected biodiversity, and safer communities.
The UK was the first major economy to enshrine a net zero target in law, legislating to end its contribution to climate change by 2050. Ambitious policy action has seen the UK achieve record clean growth in the last three decades with its economy growing by 78% and emissions decreasing by 44% - a faster reduction than any other G7 nation.
The six ‘visions’ from the project will be presented ahead of the COP26 Summit in November, to demonstrate the path forward and bolster the COP26 Presidency’s key goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and ensuring communities across the world are resilient to the risks posed by the changing climate.
COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:
"The science is clear that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to put the world on a path to net zero emissions by the middle of the century.
"This wonderfully innovative project will help communities around the world visualise how they can help achieve this and inspire the concrete action we need to keep that crucial 1.5C goal within sight ahead of COP26."
UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:
"This new flagship project brings together the best and brightest scientists with communities around the world, helping drive forward global efforts to tackle climate change by putting their voices at the heart of the green transition.
"The exciting visions developed through this science and innovation project will aim to inspire people across the globe ahead of COP26, improving our understanding of what net zero means for us all and the wide-ranging benefits of achieving it."
The project is both academic and regionally driven, delivered by a global consortium led by Deloitte and facilitated by the University of Cambridge, AECOM, Radley Yeldar and One Young World. The consortium includes academic representation from each of the six regions.
The project brings together a broad group of regional stakeholders including young people, indigenous and rural communities, civil society, business, industry and government. Through a series of virtual workshops, this group will explore the evidence around different solutions, share their perspectives and determine their collective vision of the region’s future.
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