The UK Government Office for Science has published a new research and analysis report  designed to help policy makers test the UK’s net zero strategy against scenarios for how society could look in future.

This report intends to demonstrate how future societal norms and behaviours will have a significant impact on how emissions are reduced, but they are also highly uncertain. The report aims to make the UK’s net zero strategy more resilient and ready to address risks and opportunities as they arise by testing against a wider set of assumptions about how society could look. The report was commissioned as part of the government’s net zero strategy in 2021, and aims to answer questions about how evidence on past societal changes can inform future changes, how society might plausibly change by 2050 and how this could affect our pathway to net zero.

The UK is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. This foresight report finds that;


  • Net zero can be met in all the scenarios modelled
  • If societal changes reduce energy demand, meeting net zero could be cheaper than failing to do so
  • Economic growth and technological innovation are correlated
  • Public support for technological innovation is likely to need to be actively cultivated when it creates highly visible changes in people’s daily lives


Report from the Government Office for Science

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