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Scholarly works - UK FIRES


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  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Construction Sector Innovation within Absolute Zero: Business growth in a transformative journey to zero emissions
    (2022-12-01) Allwood, Julian M; Drewniok, M; Hawkins, will; Dunant, C; Romain, Paul; Horton, P; Stephenson, S; Sergent, F; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]
    The construction industry will be transformed in a zero-emission society, from the choice of materials, their production, the design of structures, to the organisation of towns and cities. The built environment is a great enabler of other transformations in the way we work, play and live. In transportation and energy. Today, the built environment produces significant emissions both its operation – heating, lighting and cooling – and embodied in the production, construction, maintenance and demolition of its constituent materials and components. This report explores opportunities for business growth on the journey to zero emissions in the construction sector.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Energy Sector Innovation within Absolute Zero
    (2022-07-20) Allwood, Julian M; Horton, philippa; Skelton, Alexandra; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]; Skelton, Alexandra CH [0000-0001-6402-4528]
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Materials & Manufacturing: Business growth in a transformative journey to zero emissions
    (2022-03-07) Cleaver, Christopher; Azevedo, Jose; Horton, Philippa; Allwood, Julian M; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]; Azevedo, Jose [0000-0003-3294-2775]; Cleaver, Christopher [0000-0001-7093-1925]; Cullen, Jonathan [0000-0003-4347-5025]
    Facing the reality that new energy-sector technologies won’t solve climate change fast enough reveals rich opportunities for innovation and growth in UK materials and manufacturing sectors. UK law commits us to zero emissions by 2050 with most of the reduction occurring by 2035. But we’re not on track to deliver. That’s because corporate and political strategy today is counting on new technologies, like carbon capture and storage, biofuels, hydrogen and negative emissions technologies to meet the challenge, while business elsewhere continues largely as usual. It isn’t going to happen in time. The new technologies are mainly still on drawing boards, and it takes time to deploy them at scale. Instead, delivering zero emissions in reality by 2050 requires a different economy. It’s one that can deliver high quality lifestyles, but it’s an economy that will be powered only by emissions free electricity. We won’t have as much electricity as we’d otherwise like, so we’ll reduce our use of two-tonne cars and badly insulated houses, for example. For some time we’ll have to restrain our use of goods, like ruminants and cement, that can’t be electrified. But this new economy can deliver great lifestyles and great businesses. In manufacturing, we won’t be able to access the same volumes of material as in the emitting past, but we have the opportunity for huge growth in the UK. The closure of high-emitting international freight will open up new demand for domestic production. The need to close the high-emitting material suppliers of the past creates new opportunities for electric materials production. The business of matching material supply to consumer demand for goods will transform and grow.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Minus 45: Delivering the UK government’s commitment to cut emissions by 45% from 2019 to 2030 using today’s technologies
    (2021-10-26) Allwood, Julian; Horton, P; Stephenson, S; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]
    The government’s Nationally Determined Contribution submitted under the Paris Agreement for COP26 is a commitment to a 45% reduction in UK emissions from 2018 to 2030. At COP26, the UK Government will pledge to reduce UK emissions by 68% relative to 1990 emission levels. This important target is in line with recommendations from the IPPC which has determined that we need to halve planetary emissions this decade to keep warming below 1.5°C.1 Given progress in reducing UK emissions by 42% at the time the commitment was announced, the government’s target for 2030 translates to a reduction in UK annual emissions by 45% from 2018. According to the Climate Change Committee, the UK is currently not on track to meets its 2030 emission target. This report, Minus 45, describes a realisation of that pledge, based on physical changes and the policy interventions required to bring them about.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Entrepreneurs not Emissions: New business opportunities to fill the gap in UK emissions policy
    (2021-10-20) Allwood, Julian; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]
    The gap between the UK’s emissions-reduction targets and its delivery policies creates a vast and largely unexplored space for entrepreneurship and business growth. Reaching zero emissions within one generation depends on electrification, but we won’t have as much non-emitting electricity as we’d like. Without action, this means national energy poverty - but with foresight, now entrepreneurs can profit from the businesses that will give us great lives with less energy. This report reveals the breadth of this untapped opportunity for entrepreneurs.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    ZERPAs: Financing the transition to net zero under future zero-emissions resource supply constraints
    (2021-09-16) Allwood, Julian; Low, Hamish; Nelson, Sarah; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]
    The low carbon transition relies on zero emissions resources: non-emitting electricity, biomass and negative emissions. Given ballooning demand, these markets may well face shortages, which could impact the UK's emissions targets, individual livelihoods, and businesses' ability to fulfil their climate commitments. This report addresses the third consequence and its impact on finance. Resource shortages pose a serious and costly threat to businesses: in an increasingly climate-regulated world, not having a credible plan to reduce emissions isn’t a viable position. However, there is no existing mechanism to translate climate strategies into credible commitments on corporate balance sheets. This report proposes a new financial market to address this challenge. The market will trade long-term contracts for zero emissions resources. Suppliers will agree to deliver a certain amount of resource over a period of 15-odd years. The users, who promise a set price over that period, then have a secure supply - and a verifiable transition plan that they can show climate-wary investors. Today’s finance providers cannot assess the climate risks of investments; ZERPAs, or some equivalent mechanism, would allow them to separate credible commitments from insincere, misguided or implausible promises that undermine the transition to a net zero economy.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Unlocking Absolute Zero: Overcoming implementation barriers on the path to delivering zero emissions by 2050
    (2020-10-05) Allwood, Julian; Cleaver, Christopher; Gonzalez Cabrera Honorio Serrenho, Andre; Horton, Philippa; Lupton, Rick; Dunant, Cyrille; Skelton, Alexandra; Wilkinson, Robert; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]; Cleaver, Christopher [0000-0001-7093-1925]; Cabrera Serrenho, Andre [0000-0002-0962-0674]; Dunant, Cyrille [0000-0001-5176-4439]; Skelton, Alexandra [0000-0001-6402-4528]
    UK demand for energy-intensive materials is growing, driving increased emissions in the UK and abroad. UK FIRES is a research programme sponsored by the UK Government, aiming to support a renaissance of UK Industry, compatible with our legal commitment to zero emissions by 2050 by placing Resource Efficiency at the heart of the UK’s Future Industrial Strategy. Industry is the most challenging sector for climate mitigation - it’s energy efficient and there are no substitutes available at scale for the energy-intensive bulk materials - steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminium. UK FIRES is therefore working towards an industrial renaissance in the UK, with high-value climate-safe UK businesses delivering goods and services compatible with the UK’s legal commitment to zero emissions and with much less new material production.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Absolute Zero
    (2019-11-29) Allwood, Julian; Azevedo, Jose; Clare, Adam; Cleaver, Christopher; Cullen, Jonathan; Dunant, Cyrille; Fellin, Teppo; Hawkins, William; Horrocks, Ian; Horton, Philippa; Ibell, Tim; Lin, Jianguo; Low, Hamish; Lupton, Rick; Murray, James; Salamanti, Mohammad; Serrenho, André Cabrera; Ward, Michael; Zhou, Wenbin; Allwood, Julian M. [0000-0003-0931-3831]; Azevedo, Jose [0000-0003-3294-2775]; Cleaver, Christopher [0000-0001-7093-1925]; Cullen, Jonathan [0000-0003-4347-5025]; Dunant, Cyrille [0000-0001-5176-4439]; Cabrera Serrenho, Andre [0000-0002-0962-0674]
    We can’t wait for breakthrough technologies to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050. Instead, we can plan to respond to climate change using today’s technologies with incremental change. This will reveal many opportunities for growth but requires a public discussion about future lifestyles.