New Foresight Project launched to support UK’s 2050 net-zero target

The Government Office for Science has launched a new Foresight Project to help inform the government’s long-term net-zero strategy.

The report titled A net zero society – scenarios and pathways follows the COP26 summit in Glasgow where global leaders convened to outline coordinated action to tackle climate change.

The UK government has committed to achieve net zero by 2050, which is essential to keeping global temperature rises limited to 1.5°C.

Societal norms, practices and behaviours will play a significant role in emissions reduction, but these are uncertain and likely to change in the future.

The Foresight Project will provide the evidence and tools to help understand how behaviours could impact net zero.

The government, along with 36 international partners from six continents, has also welcomed and joined a newly established International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

The new board was established by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) foundation.

Patrick Vallance, the government chief scientific adviser, said:

If we are to keep warming below 1.5°C, changes within society will matter as much as big technological changes.

“Through this research, we can understand the impact of potential societal changes on our path to achieving net zero.”

This project, due to run until late 2022, will produce an expert evidence review and a set of future scenarios and their implications for the energy system and for different groups within society.