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#2050challenge – Reaching net zero emissions by 2050

Over a hundred top scientists from more than 20 countries have set out ways to slash the amount of harmful greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere by homes, cars, industry and even food production to avert a climate crisis.  

Their findings on the most critical climate change technologies and scientific research needed in the next 10 to 30 years are included in a set of Climate change: science and solutions briefings published by the Royal Society. 

To help highlight the range of solutions and ideas that scientists are creating and researching, the Royal Society has launched a campaign, the #2050challenge, for people to share stories of their work, research and actions to help countries of the world tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.  

What is ‘net-zero’? 

‘Net zero’ emissions means striking a balance between the greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere and the greenhouse gases that are being removed. To reach net zero, we need to both reduce our emissions going into the atmosphere and find ways to remove our past, present and future emissions. 

Why do we need to get to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050? 

As part of the Paris agreement, countries around the world agreed to pursue efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.  

To achieve this, countries must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by around 2050. Protecting biodiversity by 2050 is also a crucial goal and could help us tackle climate change too. 

Many countries, including the UK and EU member states have set aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.    

You can find out more about greenhouse gases and the Paris agreement in our interactive infographic. You can also find out more about the scientific evidence of climate change in our Q&A.

What is the #2050challenge? 

Getting to net zero by 2050 is going to be a global endeavour and require tremendous co-ordinated effort on an unprecedented scale. 

Science is providing new ideas and solutions that, with the right support and funding, will help us tackle climate change. 

The #2050challenge is a social media campaign focused on real solutions explained by the scientists and people who are shaping them through a short 70-second video challenge. Can you explain a climate change or biodiversity problem in 20 seconds and the solution your work or research could provide to help get the world to net zero in 50 seconds. That’s the #2050challenge! 

How can I participate? 

You can follow and share the stories and videos being posted by the Royal Society and others on Twitter and popular social media platforms using the hashtag #2050challenge.

You can also try taking the #2050challenge yourself. All you need is a smartphone to record a short video of you taking the challenge by following the 4 steps below, and please think about how you can make your video accessible, such as using free caption software: 

  1. Begin your video by introducing yourself  
  2. Start the challenge – Explain the climate or biodiversity-related issue you are looking to solve in 20 seconds or less 
  3. Explain the solution your science or activity provides in 50 seconds or less
  4. Share your video on social media with the hashtag #2050challenge – Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/TikTok – It's up to you. Tag in colleagues or friends you’d like to follow you and take the challenge themselves. Can you get a friend or colleague to help you film? Do you work in a lab or from home – what background do you want to people to see in your video? 
4 steps to complete the 2050 challenge 

Use our ready-made timer video

Feel free to get creative – If you have another device you can hold up when filming, you can use our ready-made #2050challenge timer video on YouTube to show how much time you have left on-screen. 

Find out more

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