News

Governing Net Zero: the Conveyor Belt

Nov 30, 2021

Download the policy memo (PDF).

In this policy memo, Thomas Hale, Associate Professor in Global Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and co-investigator at Oxford Net Zero, outlines what the next steps for an effective net zero governance system could look like.

‘Net zero’ has gone from a scientific concept, to a demand of fringe activists, to a mainstream organising principle for mitigation in record time. After COP26, at least 90% of the global economy is covered by some kind of net zero pledge. But having reached the “end of the beginning” of net zero—a near-universal commitment to the destination climate science says we need to arrive at by the middle of the century—a more difficult phase emerges.

A concept describing a global outcome must be operationalised for individual countries, regions, cities, sectors, and companies. Pledges must become binding pathways with sufficient short-term action to be credible. As Paris Agreement architect Laurence Tubiana put it at COP26, greenwashing is the new, and perhaps more insidious form of climate denialism. The next phase of net zero therefore requires building political power to shift rules and institutions that drive change; it requires governance.

Two people use whiteboard in office

Latest news

Prof Myles Allen appointed Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment at Gresham College
Prof Myles Allen appointed Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment at Gresham College

Professor Myles Allen, Director of Oxford Net Zero and professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford, has been appointed Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment by Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher ... Read more

Oxford Net Zero Engagement Team is Hiring Research Assistants
Oxford Net Zero Engagement Team is Hiring Research Assistants

Spring and Summer Research Assistant Opportunities with Oxford Net Zero The Oxford Net Zero Engagement Team, working out of the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment is seeking research assistants to support with the development of a ... Read more

5 Key Takeaways from Oxford Net Zero Policy Masterclass
5 Key Takeaways from Oxford Net Zero Policy Masterclass

On 9 March 2022, the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) and Oxford Net Zero (ONZ) held a joint masterclass on policy interventions for accelerating the transition to net zero, hosted by Apolitical. This ... Read more

See more news and events