Joint Paper: Laying the Foundations for a Net Zero Society

Together with the  Centre of Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde (CEP) we release our special joint paper where we consider the design of a Framework for recovery in the UK that could align near-term economic priorities with both short and medium-term climate goals. As well, we focus on the need to shift the UK economy onto a transition pathway to the 2050 target for net zero emissions while delivering the required near term economy recovery in an equitable and sustainable way.

The paper conducts an analytical economic review of three net zero actions:

  • enabling and progressing the realisation of residential energy efficiency gains
  • the electric vehicles rollout
  • investing in carbon capture and storage capacity

In each case, we apply the CEP Net Zero Principles Framework to develop a common understanding of how decarbonisation actions can deliver economic benefits as well as costs in two distinct stages:

  1. Enabling stage – actions and investments in equipment, infrastructure and/or systems capability to enable subsequent emissions reductions.
  2. Realising stage – activities, processes and responses that utilise enabling activities and infrastructure to actually realise emissions reductions through how we live and work

The case examples examined in this paper show that a combination of policy interventions, regulatory changes and government investment could be used to stimulate activity and investment in the UK economy.