Royal Society statement ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference COP27

24 October 2022

Ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference COP27, Professor Peter Bruce, Vice President of the Royal Society, said:

 “The planet has warmed by more than 1ËšC in the last 150 years and that has impacted on lives, economies and the built and natural world. To stabilise temperatures requires global emissions of greenhouse gases to be cut back to net zero. That will require all nations at COP27 to work in partnership to deploy the technologies and nature-based solutions that are available now, and to develop those we will need in future.

“The global response to COVID-19 has shown the power of science to deliver solutions when concerted commitment is made. However, the challenges of global inequalities have also exposed the risks of not taking a global approach to tackling climate change. COP27 must deliver fair action from all nations, for the good of all nations.

“The UK has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050 – but it is not on track to deliver unless it can rapidly turn ambition into policy. In order to succeed, the UK will need strategies to deliver a shift to low carbon energy, structural demand reduction, support for more efficient use of energy and land and the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Royal Society’s ‘Science and solutions’ looks in detail at 12 key areas to deliver net zero. The UK needs to develop an evidence-based technology roadmap to accelerate the rate of decarbonisation and deliver value for money.

"Reaching its target will require the UK Government to be fully committed, including putting in place consistent policy, infrastructure planning, and research and development in areas including energy storage, renewable energy, agricultural emissions reduction, and carbon capture and storage.”