Net zero and sustainable development

Reaching a durable net zero will require global transitions that are both sustainable and equitable. Net zero plans need to be aligned with complementary sustainability objectives and enforced using rigorous quality standards, centring fairness and prosperity. 

This research theme is separated into three parts: an equitable transition, socio-ecological sustainability, and the generation of new economic opportunities.

EQUITABLE TRANSITION

The burden of meeting global net zero must be shared fairly.

The Paris Agreement emphasises the need for an equitable transition – in efforts to reduce poverty, net zero needs to be achieved in the context of sustainable development.

A balancing of responsibilities may therefore be required – the global peaking of emissions may take longer for developing countries.

Different countries should tailor their paths to net zero, based on their national circumstances, with some reaching net zero faster to support those developing more slowly.

SOcio-ecological sustainability

To achieve durable net zero without negative ecological and social consequences, plans need to be aligned with complementary sustainability objectives.

Climate change is interlinked with other socio-ecological challenges, many of which have the same root causes.

Net zero plans need to take these challenges into account, in order to simultaneously limit surface warming, slow biodiversity declines and support human societies.

new economic opportunities

Net zero prosperity can materialise through cycles of clean investment, renewal and growth.

To ensure a fair transition to net zero economies, cross-sector collaboration, generous social protection and investment in education and skills are required.

OTHER RESEARCH THEMES

What is net zero?
the urgency of zero
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Carbon offsetting

News and Events

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

Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer
Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer

Oxford Net Zero is looking for a highly organised and motivated Impact and Operations Officer to join its team. You will be working alongside the Programme Manager, Cath Ibbotson, and the Head of Policy and Partnerships, Kaya Axelsson to ... Read more

Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 
Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 

A new report published by Oxford Net Zero presents a comprehensive ‘stocktake’ of developments in net-zero regulation across the G20 in 2023. It focuses primarily on four regulatory domains: claims and financial products standards, disclosure, ... Read more

New ONZ report on rolling out renewables in the Global South
New ONZ report on rolling out renewables in the Global South

The scaling up of clean electricity, and using it to decarbonise other parts of the economy, is central to all decarbonisation pathways.  In their latest report, “Rolling out renewables in the Global South”, Oxford Net Zero’s Sam Fankhauser ... Read more

Oxford Net Zero at COP28
Oxford Net Zero at COP28

The Oxford Net Zero community is mobilising its collective expertise to help drive ambition at COP28, being held in the UAE from 30 November – 12 December. Read more

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