innovation for net zero

why innovation for net zero?

To meet the net zero target, unprecedented innovation will be required across society. Innovation will not only include inventing new technologies, but also new behaviours and ways of using existing technologies. There will also be the need to create novel consumer offerings, new business models, and most importantly, new policy, regulation and market design.

Companies that align their business strategies with climate science are best- placed to thrive as the global economy transitions to a net zero future by 2050. Companies should begin a transition towards a business model that continues to be viable in a net zero economy.

In addition to demonstrating moral leadership, implementing net zero related measures catalyses competitive advantages by driving innovation, boosting brand reputation, enhancing investor confidence and increasing resilience to future regulatory changes.

Transformative targets such as net-zero emissions can spark opportunities for innovation within an organization, release creative thinking and enable employees to challenge the status quo. 

Companies that align their business strategies with climate science are best- placed to thrive as the global economy transitions to a net zero future by 2050.

net zero and sensitive intervention points (sips)

Sensitive intervention points are crucial in the transition to net zero. A kick to the current state of the global climate system, can move it onto a new trajectory without any change in the underlying system dynamics.

In fact, a small kick can be effective when the system is chaotic or when it is near a critical point. The transition to renewables is a good example of a SIP, while it has so far only made a small reduction in emissions, it has the potential to accelerate decarbonization.

On the other hand, a shift in the underlying system dynamics, which changes the rules of the system can alter its trajectories substantially. For example in the socioeconomic-political sphere, a shift may require a change in key concepts and institutions.

The power of a small group of influencers where a committed minority with unwavering opinions can have an outsized effect on others whose opinions are undecided is another example of a SIP.

Two movements in particular, Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion which have received much attention in the global media, have shown capabilities of causing regime shift and shaping policies as they prompt global policy makers to action as regards reducing the rate of CO2 emissions globally.

 

Sensitive intervention points (SIPs) which include kicks or shifts demonstrate how initial changes in a system can be amplified through feedback effects, which can then deliver outsized impact.

ggr removal technologies

There are various types of Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) technologies which recapture already emitted greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and ocean.

Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) involve working with and enhancing nature to achieve multiple benefits for people, including removing CO2 from the air, and aiding adaptation  to climate change.

Equity AND Inclusion

Pathways to achieving global net zero emissions must be framed by questions of equity and justice. A just transition to a net zero future needs to be inclusive of a range of actors as well as a range of views, including those relating climate justice.

Green Recovery and Resilience

A green recovery from COVID-19 could accelerate GDP growth in the immediate future, establish new industries and jobs for the coming decade, and deliver a sustainable climate for the next century. 

Business for Net Zero

This page provides resources for businesses seeking to develop their own net zero business plans and to contribute to the wider effort to mitigate the climate crisis by identifying the solutions, risks and opportunities for achieving net zero in each sector.

Job Opening at ONZ: Youth Climate Training Assistant
Job Opening at ONZ: Youth Climate Training Assistant

The Oxford Net Zero Engagement Team (based at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment) is looking for a motivated individual to support the team 8 hours a week for 12 weeks (96 hours in total) in the second delivery of the Youth ... Read more

Onshore geological carbon storage has potential in the UK, but key knowledge and regulatory gaps remain – ONZ report
Onshore geological carbon storage has potential in the UK, but key knowledge and regulatory gaps remain – ONZ report

A new report by a team of Oxford Net Zero researchers reviews the current state of knowledge on onshore geological carbon storage (GCS) and its feasibility in the UK. Read more

Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles
Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles

As part of their net zero strategies, many companies, organisations, cities, regions and financial institutions are relying on voluntary carbon credits to offset their residual emissions. But evidence continues to cast doubt on the integrity of ... Read more

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