CAT’s Paul Allen joined the International Network For Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) in Denmark to share the latest Zero Carbon Britain research on a global platform. The 25th anniversary meeting brings together organisations from across the world to explore the transition to sustainable energy, community power and the development of new initiatives and projects.
How three people are shaping a more sustainable world, in their own words…
The shift to zero carbon is one of the most exciting opportunities in human history. It offers huge benefits in better housing, affordable and accessible transport, reduced obesity, improved health, cleaner air and more jobs.
Everyone is talking about rewilding at the moment.
The debate around rewilding is shaking up the conservation sector – and public interest is huge – with a growing movement of people advocating the restoration of our degraded ecosystems.
How three people are shaping a more sustainable world, in their own words
10 ways we can make the system better for people and planet
How can our economic system be transformed so that it helps us to meet the key challenges of the 21st century?
Would you like to live or work in a warm, draft free, healthy space that is easy and cost effective to heat?
Transforming our leaky buildings to make them clean, green, healthy and affordable to heat is a big project, but we have all the knowledge and tools we need to do it – and it offers us many additional benefits. Here is a selection of good ideas on how we can transform our existing buildings and build new ones in much more energy efficient ways, so we have better places to live and work, and support the shift to a zero carbon future. Continue reading “Building for a zero carbon future”
It’s now almost ten years since CAT’s first Zero Carbon Britain report was published. Today zero carbon is becoming a much more commonly accepted goal – but we urgently need to make it happen! Paul Allen introduces a new report, due out in spring, that looks at the barriers to getting to zero and how these can be overcome.
On 5 October 2016, the threshold number of signatories to the Paris Agreement was achieved, enabling it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. This historic agreement is underpinned by a global consensus of science that clearly recognises the need to reach zero carbon. Fortunately, a wide range of detailed scenarios and real-life practical projects clearly demonstrate that we already have the tools and technologies needed to get us there. Continue reading “Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen”
Landscape archaeologist and CAT MSc student Jemma Bezant looks at how messages from the past about human adaptation and resilience can resonate today in the face of coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Continue reading “Can archaeology save our seas? Borth coastal defence scheme and human adaptation”
Marrakech is turning out to be a different kind of meeting from Paris, but that does not make it less important, in fact quite the opposite. If Paris was about creating the framework, Marrakech is about deciding the rules so that goals are achieved.
The most common phrase of the day in almost every session I have attended is “increasing ambition”. This can be done by turning up the guilt or it can be done by increasing inspiration – showing both that zero is achievable and that there are additional benefits in doing it. Of course, the key advantage of the latter approach is that it is less divisive and works better to unite communities across the globe.
So many people want to accelerate the transition to the zero carbon economy. People around the world are taking action to install solar and wind solutions, block coal and oil infrastructure and protect forests. People want a different future and are creating it. This determination has grown stronger and louder since Paris.
Marrakech must ensure that this increase in ambition results in plans that match the global goals. So this is why so many need to talk about increasing ambition, as the 1.5C goal really can’t wait. However, just like Paris, Marrakech is driven by incredibly complex negotiating processes. And, thankfully, just like Paris, it has attracted an amazingly bright and highly motivated collaborative global tribe inside and outside of the official process. Working amongst them constantly inspires me, as they get to grips with it all and work out how best to influence the process, flagging up the key issues and phrases.
Perhaps the most important phrase to get to grips with at this point is “Facilitative dialogue”. Due to begin in 2018, this describes the official COP process of ratcheting up ambition. It is a chance for countries to take stock of how close they are to achieving the key long-term goals of peaking emissions and achieving net zero emissions early in the second half of the century.
“Facilitative dialogues” are designed to inform the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the pledges that each country makes to show their contribution to tackling climate change. Once countries have a clearer idea of the direction of travel, they will have the motivation to either update or communicate their new NDC by 2020.
It is an incredible feeling to join these astounding people in this process, everyone I have spoken to about our Zero Carbon Britain work sees a clear role for more positive scenarios in increasing ambition for NDCs. This will be the core topic of the first session run by the American Pavilion facilitated by the World Resources Institute – I will be there to see how it goes, and to offer America a hug!