We increase the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere every year. How can the planet achieve net zero – where that number stops going up? Some of the big emitters including the US and the EU have stated aims to reach net zero by 2050 but others (e.g. India and Russia) haven’t. China’s pledge is a bit vague.
Is it possible for the planet to reach this goal? What combination of technology, infrastructure and behaviour change is required, and on what scale?
Four experts were at this briefing to give their views and take journalists’ questions in advance of the start of COP26.
Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, University of Bath
Prof Nick Eyre, Professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Oxford and Director of the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions
Dr Rebecca Ford, Research Director of the UK’s Energy Revolution Research Consortium and Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde
Prof Michael Bradshaw, Professor of Global Energy at the University of Warwick and Co-Director of the Energy Research Centre (UKERC)