Thursday, September 9, 2021

With the clock ticking down to COP26 later this year, the Walker Institute has hosted a video panel discussion on net zero targets and their place in mitigating global climate change.  Chaired by Walker researcher Ross Fairgrieve, the event engaged three climate change experts:

Dr Simon Evans deputy editor and policy editor of the Carbon Brief covering climate and energy policy. He previously worked for environment journal The ENDS Report for six years, covering topics including climate science and air pollution.

Marcia Rocha, Policy Analyst and Scientist at OECD currently working on a project on Losses and Damages from Climate Change.  Marcia has worked for the last decade on the interface between science and policy on climate change.

Stefán Smith is Associate Professor in Energy Systems and the Built Environment, at the University of Reading and Co-Investigator at the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). His research focusses on physical, social and technical interactions in relation to energy demand.

The panelists responded to questions including:

  • What is net zero?
  • Are all net-zero targets comparable or do we need to “read the small-print”?
  • What commitments have been made, legal and policy and what are the differences in understanding and implementation in different countries?
  • What are the challenges of including everything e.g. CO2-only or international aviation and shipping?
  • What are the considerations around ambition for net zero commitments from lower per capita emitters vs higher emitting richer countries?
  • How do we actually get to net zero and what are the key factors that will determine our collective success in getting there?
  • Will there be overreliance on new technology as a ‘silver bullet’?
  • Do politicians/industry/citizens appreciate the scale of the task at hand?

Contact the panel members:

Marcia Rocha: / @OECD_ENV

Simon Evans: / @CarbonBrief

Stefán Smith: / @SCME_UoR and @CREDS_UK

Watch this space – we’re planning more panel discussions soon!