Global citizens and scientists shine hope on how to achieve net zero

Shine hope

Following four months of international collaboration between academics, business, civil society and citizens across the globe, the COP26 Futures We Want project, has unveiled shining 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, business and industry 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, United Arab Emirates, 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, and securing sustainable food and water supplies.

These visions, which will be showcased at COP26, highlight 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.

For example, the Arabian Peninsula’s vision for a resilient, net zero future welcomes the development of green deserts, improved water security, seawater greenhouses and solar thermal power generation. Brazil’s vision showcases the need for innovative businesses that harness and celebrate the Amazon’s biodiversity, and agroecology practices that increase yields and make crops more climate resilient.

India’s vision harnesses the country’s best assets to power its homes with solar energy and use nature-based solutions, like wetland waste systems, to supply communities with clean water, while Jamaica envisions implementing world-leading natural protection from hurricanes and floods through restored reefs and mangrove coastal swamps to protect its citizens and the environment.

The United Kingdom’s vision makes the most of its resources as a coastal nation, championing its role as part of a global net zero community that trades with and learns from other nations, always with a focus on sustainable business. Kenya’s vision sees solar powered drip irrigation systems, greater use of indigenous crops, and health systems that can withstand climate change and remain accessible for all.

As holders of this year’s G7 and COP26 Presidency, today’s launch builds on the Government’s promise to lead both the UK and the nations of the world in supporting a just, global transition to a climate-resilient, net-zero future – one that unleashes green jobs, cleaner air and increasing prosperity, without harming the planet and intensifying impacts of climate change.

With just two months to go until the COP26 conference in Glasgow the COP Presidency is committed to working together with the nations of the world to build back greener, secure a global net zero and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

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