The Radical Plan – 70% reduction in UK emissions in 10 years – how far can we go?

Climate change is among the gravest environmental, social and economic challenges facing mankind, and it is already happening. Urgent action is needed to limit climate change to a manageable level and prevent serious physical, social and economic damage. The current international focus is to prevent global climate change from irrevocable consequences. This means limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above the temperature in pre-industrial times.

National and international commitments around 2°C continue to dominate much of the political rhetoric on climate change at a time when many analysts and academics state 2°C is no longer possible. But is it? The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, headquarted at UEA is exploring if existing and novel technologies combined with changes in behaviour and practices and brought together through courageous and innovative leadership can deliver otherwise 'impossible' rates of emission reductions, with benefits to the UK economy.

This approach, which will be known as 'The Radical Plan' will involve the application of established interdisciplinary expertise from across the eight Tyndall Centre Universities in the UK and our Chinese partner in Fudan University to bring together knowledge and understanding from science and engineering with psychology, practice theory, economics and governance to answer a pivotal question society has not yet addressed. Our aim is to undertake proactive paradigm-changing, radical research. It is certainly a risky proposition, but with the abject (global) failure of existing approaches to deliver little more than a reduction in the rate of acceleration of emissions growth, the time is ripe for a Radical Plan.