New COP26 project unveiled for net zero future


Following four months of international collaboration between academics, businesses, civil society and citizens across the globe, the COP26 ‘Futures We Want project’ comprising India, which was unveiled on Tuesday, shines hope for an achievable, beneficial, resilient and desirable global net zero future for nations across the world.

Bridging the gap between scientific evidence and citizen insight through a series of virtual workshops, this global project commissioned ahead of the UK’s COP Presidency brought together young people, indigenous and rural communities, civil society, businesses and industries from across six regions of the world, using world-class research and evidence to envision their priorities, hopes and desires for their future.

Including communities from the UK, Jamaica, Brazil, Kenya, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and India, this COP26 flagship science and innovation programme explored diverse perspectives and solutions to the day-to-day impacts of climate change such as electricity generation, agriculture, waste and water management, building design, reforestation and ocean conservation.

The global group of citizens explored the range of net zero and resilience solutions that exist across the world, and recognised how achieving this future would bring wide-ranging opportunities and benefits such as the creation of new jobs, improving our health and quality of life, besides securing sustainable food and water supplies.

COP26 President-designate Alok Sharma said: “The science is clear, we must act now to put the world on a path to net zero emissions if we are to limit global warming and keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. This means all countries, businesses and individuals have an important part to play.

“These visions of a net zero world, published today ahead of COP26, outline how a transition to a climate-resilient future can act as a real opportunity to create new green jobs, build sustainable economies and boost the health and quality of life for millions.”

These visions, which will be showcased at COP26, highlight the achievable and desirable solutions to climate change, and celebrate international collaboration and science and innovation, ensuring these are at the heart of November’s COP26 negotiations to be held in Glasgow, the UK.

Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Champion of the Futures We Want project, said: “Science and innovation are powerful tools that we must use to inform ambitious climate action as we work towards a desirable global net zero future.

“International collaboration of academics and governments is essential in achieving a just transition to a climate resilient future and understanding citizen perspectives, including indigenous communities and youth, will guide us down a realistic and deliverable path to a future with wide-ranging opportunities and co-benefits.”