Friday 29th November, 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR
Please join us for conversation with report’s authors and industry partners, following which we invite you to join the ‘ RGS: COP25 climate talks’ as our guests.
Public interest in mitigating climate change is at an all-time high, but who should do what to bring it about?
Absolute Zero, a ground-breaking report by authors spanning six UK universities and funded by UKRI, addresses this question by dividing the options into three categories: using today’s technologies differently, for example by driving less or with more people per car; making incremental changes to technology, for example by using smaller cars; waiting for breakthrough technologies, such as cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Almost all policy proposals in the UK and internationally currently prioritise breakthrough technologies without recognition of how slowly they’ll be deployed. As a result, global emissions are rising and the UK is falling short of its targets. Absolute Zero aims to redress this balance, to support motivated individuals and businesses to choose impactful actions now, and develop strategies compatible with zero emissions in 2050.
With today’s technologies, many of today’s activities including most leisure and recreation can continue or expand unchanged. Some systems, such as cars or building heating must be electrified and used less than at present, and others including the supply of petrol, producing cement, or using aeroplanes must cease altogether. However with incremental changes, for example reducing car weights, building buildings with less material to last longer, and switching from planes to trains, we can sustain and expand almost all of today’s lifestyle. After we’ve hit our target for zero emissions in 2050, breakthrough technologies may allow us to expand our energy supply, develop electric planes, or make new forms of cement – but these technologies won’t be operating at scale within the 30 years remaining to hit our legal commitment to zero emissions.
If we allow political and business leaders to discuss climate change only with reference to breakthrough technologies, we won’t reduce our emissions fast enough and the social movement towards action on the climate will remain disconnected. Instead, by focusing on mitigation with today’s technologies, Absolute Zero presents the evidence to develop a coherent and inclusive approach to delivering mitigation in reality.
Absolute Zero will be launched at the RGS on Friday 29th November with a short panel discussion spanning political, industrial and campaigning leaders, to reflect on the realities of delivering a safe future climate now, without delay.
For further information, please get in touch.