Laying the Foundations for a Net Zero Society : Principles and Infrastructure for a Climate Resilient and Economically Sustainable Recovery

Turner, Karen and Katris, Antonios and Stewart, Jamie and Alabi, Oluwafisayo and Calvillo, Christian and Race, Julia and Swales, Kim and Mitchell, Theo and Andreas, Justus (2020) Laying the Foundations for a Net Zero Society : Principles and Infrastructure for a Climate Resilient and Economically Sustainable Recovery. [Report]

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    Abstract

    The Covid 19 pandemic brings into sharp focus the need for net zero actions to sustain and contribute to the well-being of the UK economy and society. Now more than ever, it is crucial that what we do to reduce our emissions can deliver both near term and sustained positive impacts across the economy to ensure prosperity and justice in our society. This special joint paper from the Centre of Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde (CEP) and the Bellona Foundation considers the design of a Framework for recovery that could align our near-term economic priorities with both short and medium-term climate goals. In doing so, it focuses on three key actions for achieving net zero: enabling and realising residential energy efficiency gains; facilitating the electric vehicle rollout; investing in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) infrastructure to transform process industry. We show that net zero actions can deliver the type of short term employment, real income and GDP improvements that will be crucial for near term economic recovery from the pandemic. Such actions will simultaneously deliver essential foundations for a sustainable and prosperous transition where sustained economic and societal gains are realised alongside deep emissions reductions.