The Net Zero Festival united businesses, academics, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and campaigners over two important questions: firstly, how can we accelerate and expand the net-zero transition, and secondly, how can we predict the effects of this? The broad spectrum of talks, panels, and lectures looked at a range of angles regarding net-zero, with experts in each field exploring the defining economic, political, and technological trends and discussions around this topic. It was educational and interesting, and with the COP26 Climate Summit just around the corner, the festival certainly gave a lot of food for thought whilst also waving the flag of urgency.
Many of us at Land Life Company engaged and listened to the talks, and these are our five main takeaways…
Net-Zero projects need to be designed in a way that allows for adaptation and have long-term resilience. We can no longer be thinking short-term. Also, many will also need to be scalable projects. We must not let “perfect” be the enemy of “progress.”
Realistic targets are very important for businesses and governments alike, and they must be set to encourage change. But they also need to be monitored. Targets should be made with the idea of reviewing and checking in regularly. If targets are not met, the reason should be looked into as we can learn from failures as well as successes. By seeing why a target was not met, we can adapt behavior accordingly and ensure that they are met in the future.
One of the main requirements for policies to make actual change happen is to have significant incentives for investment propositions. We can improve communication from governments on how citizens and businesses can participate in the change, by pushing public-private alliances so the private sector can come to governments not only identifying problems, but also solutions.
It is really important to promote the concept of net-zero to a wider audience. The participation of local communities is essential to make that happen. Changes needed to implement net-zero policy should be communicated well and shouldn’t feel like top-down distant narratives. Creating change at a local community level will ensure that there is understanding and compassion for the issues at hand.
The Net Zero Festival underlined the importance of COP26. Globally, international governments and organizations need to back up the responses that are needed with policy. If this doesn’t happen, the alternative is that in the next few years there will be more and more climate migrants, displaced due to flooding and other climate-related disasters. The extreme levels of migrants and loss of food production will mean we would be in global crisis mode by mid-century.
Overall, all these different angles and talks were unanimous on one point, waiting is no longer an option and collaboration is key. We are really looking forward to COP26 and the decisions that are made there, and are happy that what we are doing at Land Life Company, using nature-based solutions to combat climate change in a multifaceted way, was reiterated to an extent at this festival.