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Calculating the risks of a zero-carbon transition

Researchers from Surrey’s Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) are developing a unique macroeconomic model to identify and explore the risks and opportunities in a zero-carbon transition.

Scientists agree that averting climate breakdown requires a full-scale transition of the economy away from fossil fuels to achieve net-zero carbon emissions before the middle of the century. This demands the replacement of entire technologies, supply chains and infrastructures within very short timescales.

The transition to net-zero carbon is one of the most fundamental challenges we face. ‘‘

The three features of the transition – rapid structural change, massive investment shifts and ‘post-normal’ behaviours – will be the focus of the new TRansit project, led by Professor Tim Jackson at the University of Surrey in partnership with the University of Sussex.

Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of CUSP, said: “The transition to net-zero carbon is one of the most fundamental challenges we face. The journey is fraught with risks as well as opportunities. Expanding the capability of our economic models to explore the complexity and uncertainty inherent in this challenge is vital. TRansit aims to develop tools to help policy navigate the transition.”