EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W026082/1
Title: Network to Net-Zero
Principal Investigator: Worsley, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Walters, Dr AS Mabbett, Dr I Upadhyaya, Professor HM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2021 Ends: 31 March 2022 Value (£): 137,812
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The data is irrefutable, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of human activity is by far the greatest contributor to global warming. To prevent catastrophic climate change, carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero in a relatively short timeframe.

Governments globally have accepted and are being led by the science. In the Paris Agreement, the outcome of COP21, governments agreed to achieve a balance between carbon emissions and removal by 2050. These Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are due to be ratified, and anticipated to be extended, at the forthcoming COP26 in Glasgow. This balance of carbon emissions is now commonly known as 'net-zero', achieving net-zero is imperative if we are to limit the rise in global temperature to the 1.5 degC needed to preserve a liveable climate on earth. However, the window to achieve this limit is narrowing, and latest IPCC reports paint a damning picture of our trajectory. The longer we take to get to net-zero the more we will have to do to directly remove CO2 from our atmosphere in an immensely expensive process of climate repair.

However, some technologies to tackle net-zero do not yet exist and new innovations are urgently needed, particularly for hard-to-treat 'difficult to decarbonise' activities such as agriculture and energy intensive industries, such as steel, glass, and chemicals. As a result, in May 2021, the Prime Ministers of the UK and India held high level talks regarding climate change and agreed to urgent action and the joint UK-India Roadmap for 2030 has been developed.

The UK Committee for Climate change has stated "success requires a globally coordinated effort across the full chain, from basic research to market readiness". Over the next six months, this UK-India led project intends to establish the nucleus of a 'Net Zero Clustering Network' which will span the "full chain" of net-zero stakeholders. The network will identify key people and groups from the UK and India and create clusters of synergistic and complementary net-zero activities across research, innovation, demonstration, and translation. Such actors will include leading academic institutions, key industries, NGOs, green finance, government agencies, and funding organisations.

The transition to clean energy across all sectors will be at the network's core, but due to the complex interconnectedness of carbon vectors, other areas such as sustainable secure supplies of water and food are essential underpinning components for delivering equitable net-zero outcomes for society as a whole and cannot be ignored.

Complementary areas of network activity will include resource efficiency, carbon capture, and bioenergy, all broadly encompassed within the 'circular regenerative economy' heading. In addition to technology solutions, the network will enhance partnerships with users, private finance institutions, and provide evidence-based recommendations to inform policy and planning.

Building on long standing India-UK partnerships, this network intends to maintain and grow its activities and relationship on a long-term basis through a virtual centres approach. This will catalyse high level scientific research collaboration delivering innovation and international net-zero leadership supporting the global efforts on climate change and ambitious outcomes of COP26. In particular, the goals of 'mitigation' and specifically addressing targets to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean power, and to protect and restore nature for the benefit of people and climate. We aim to support those involved with goals around adaptation, specifically in building resilient infrastructure (including electrification of transport) and agriculture, whilst accessing the third goal of green finance. Our ethos is fully aligned to the final goal of 'collaboration', placing the UK and India at the front of this global grand challenge.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Impacts
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Summary
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk