Net zero society: scenarios and pathways: How could societal changes affect the path to net zero?

Rowena Bermingham, Jack Snape, Tom Wells, Heather Ballard, Helen Blackbourn, Nina Grassmann, Cara Nicol, Maria Sharmina, Mattie Taylor, Emily White

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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Abstract

The UK is committed to reaching net zero by 2050. Future societal norms and behaviours will have a significant impact on how emissions are reduced, but they are also highly uncertain. Society in 2050 is likely to be very different from today. Testing against a wider set of assumptions about how society could look should make the UK’s net zero strategy more resilient and ready to address risks and opportunities as they arise. This report shows that if society changed in ways that reduce demand for energy, the energy system costs of a scenario meeting net zero could be lower by 2% of GDP than a baseline case where the UK fails to meet net zero. There are also risks and costs associated with scenarios with higher levels of energy demand, which should be planned for.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationForesight report
PublisherGovernment Office for Science
Number of pages194
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023

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