Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. It means achieving a state in which the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are no more than the amount that can be naturally absorbed, for example, by forests and oceans. The goal of achieving net zero emissions has become increasingly urgent in light of the global climate crisis, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is driving up global temperatures, causing sea levels to rise, and exacerbating extreme weather events. Many countries and companies have committed to achieving net zero emissions by mid-century or earlier as part of their efforts to address the climate crisis. The UK has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. To reach net zero, it is necessary to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to cleaner energy sources and adopting sustainable practices in areas such as transportation, agriculture, and industry, as well as strengthening absorption capabilities to offset emissions through activities such as reforestation or carbon capture and storage.
UKCRIC brings together leading experts from academia, industry, and government to carry out cutting-edge research and development on the mitigation of climate change and the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future. This includes research into low-carbon materials and construction methods, the development of sustainable energy systems, and the design of low-carbon transportation networks. By providing evidence-based recommendations and innovative solutions, UKCRIC is contributing to the UK's efforts to achieve net zero and to create more sustainable, resilient, and adaptable infrastructure and cities for the future.
Sustainability is a pillar of UKCRIC’s guiding principles and a key driver which cuts across the research within the Collaboratorium. UKCRIC is driven to develop research which enables:
Infrastructure and urban systems for one planet living
Accelerating sustainability through substantial advances in responsible consumption, resource efficiency and sustainable growth, and helping the UK meet its carbon targets.