Swaledale farms

WELCOME TO THE UK
IN A GLOBALNET-ZERO, CLIMATE-RESILIENT
2050.

A network of wind farms powers the country. The sharing economy spans everything from furniture to clothes. People live healthier lives, and nature is thriving.

WHAT THE UK COULD 
BE LIKE IN
 2050

ENERGY

Headshot of a Young Male at Winter
“I want to see negative emissions so we can focus on rebuilding the climate”
- Workshop Participant

EVIDENCE AND INSIGHTS:

The UK has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The nation’s 2035 interim target is 78% reduction compared with 1990 levels.

IN 2050...

Carbon emissions are captured and reused in a range of industries, from agriculture to fizzy drinks. Renewable energy is storable and flexible thanks to infrastructure investment. The UK’s homes have moved to low carbon heating.
From Side Pike to Heaven
"
I hope that I can easily select food and consumables  which only have a positive impact on
the climate
- Workshop Participant

FOOD AND LAND

EVIDENCE AND INSIGHTS:

Key priorities include natural flood management and capital to help businesses adapt. Protecting marine areas, recovering fish stocks, restoring peatlands and tackling invasive species will also be crucial.

IN 2050...

The UK has a new relationship with its land. Reforested uplands and restored peatlands store carbon. Precise AI-driven farming and robotic weeding produces more from less land. Insects are a mainstream dietary protein source and food ‘waste’ is transformed into valuable medicine.

Hear from our workshop participants

“Some of my close family and friends are farmers, they have found that Government policies have been shifting around land use. The result of making hedgerows thicker and having areas of forest land within their farm has actually become more economically viable than the farming activities themselves”

WATER

Close up portrait of a beautiful young woman looking off camera in the outdoors
“We need to develop a culture of water responsibility”
- Workshop Participant

EVIDENCE AND INSIGHTS:

Healthy ecosystems full of natural vegetation can improve air and food quality, reduce the risk of floods, and increase social and ecological resilience.

IN 2050...

Restored fens, wetlands and coastal habitats mitigate flooding and rising sea level risks. This protects homes, reduces storm damage and safeguards critical ecosystems.
A Roesel's Bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii) and plants growing in a greenhouse

OTHER HOPES AND IDEAS

  • New build housing that have ultra-low or zero energy demands, like those following ‘Passivhaus’ design principles

  • Low energy city travel, from shared technology like driverless electric taxis to ‘digital commuting’

  • 15-minute towns, with key resources – from shops to parks to offices – within easy reach

  • More urban planning, tree cover and water fountains to make the UK’s cities more liveable in heatwaves

  • Service-based sharing economy growth in new areas like clothes and power tools

  • Expand the UK economy into high-tech areas like greenhouse gas removal

Read the full UK Profile

Download PDF

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

  • This is just a taste of what the UK could look like in a globally net-zero, climate-resilient future.

  • This is one of six regional visions, which together paint a picture of a feasible and desirable future.

  • Each country’s role in building this future will be different – and it can only be achieved through deep international cooperation.

Find out more about this project
“I hope that intergenerational decision-making will make it easier to be involved in climate leadership
- Workshop participant