Introducing the Delivering Net Zero project

25 Nov 2020

Our new project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and seeks to use the best available research to construct and articulate a consensus of opinion to identify the urgent initial steps and a longer-term strategy for delivering a net zero transition in the UK.

In 2021 we will be working with stakeholders from academia, private and public sectors to produce a shared vision on what is required to deliver a UK net zero future in the short-term (the next ten years) and the longer-term (from 2030 onwards). We will also be seeking to identify and clarify what further research is needed to help underpin a net zero future for the country.

A whole systems perspective

Our remit is to focus on the role of research in the challenge to transition the UK to net zero. Our approach will apply a whole systems perspective because of the need to understand social practices and their interaction with different technologies, systems design, and decarbonisation. We will employ a deliberative process, running a series of workshops with a range of key stakeholders. These workshops will focus on the areas of decarbonisation, energy demand, carbon capture and removal, and the social and economic implications of net zero.

Why are we doing this?

We believe that to achieve net zero the UK must act now. We need rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the short-term to deliver a reduction in cumulative emissions and avoid a climate crisis. To this extent, academic support and frameworks are essential to provide the best evidence to inform decision making. In this project, we will be working with leading UK academics to collate their thinking and research, then testing these assumptions with private, public, and third sector stakeholders to arrive at a consensus. We then want to share this consensus to avoid decisions being taken without relying on such evidence.

This project will help the UKRI Energy & Decarbonisation Programme inform and guide the response of UK decision-makers to climate change. The outcome of the project will be to produce a shared vision that outlines a narrative for net zero in the UK across both the short and longer-term.

Our overall objective is to provide decision-makers involved with net zero, with the best evidence available, creating an environment whereby rapid and robust decisions are informed by the most advanced research.

The project is a collaboration between the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, the School of Psychology and Understanding Risk Research Group at Cardiff University, and the innovation research consultancy, Cultivate Innovation.

You can follow the progress of the project at

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