University of Exeter: Greenhouse gas removal project to take centre stage at Exeter COP event

NetZeroPlus, the government-funded project that will help implement the planting of 750,000 hectares of trees and forms a vital part of the UK’s net zero strategy, will form a key focus of the workshop ‘When Science Meets Economics: The Right Tree in the Right Place for NetZeroPlus’, to be held at COP26 on 6 November and co-hosted by Arctic Basecamp.

Professor Ian Bateman OBE, Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP), will be joined at the event by leading climate scientist Professor Richard Betts, Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter and Head of Climate Impacts in the Met Office Hadley Centre.

There will also be presentations by Sarah Harrison, International Collaboration Lead of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Professor Alice Larkin, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Manchester.

The workshop will bring together the natural and physical science, economics and social science necessary to move towards the multi-dimensional policy necessary to meet the unique challenges posed by 21st century challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Part of the workshop will consider emissions, with Professor Betts, a lead author of the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), focusing his presentation on the climate science that needs to be behind any policy response to global heating, while Professor Larkin will look at the scale of the challenge, the progress to date and the gap between what is being done and what needs to be done.

The remainder of the workshop will centre on greenhouse gas removal and the government’s goal of planting over 750,000 hectares of woodland in order to meet its net zero commitment by 2050.

Sarah Harrison will address biodiversity loss and Professor Bateman will give an overview of his ‘natural capital’ framework that has been adopted by the government as the basis of its ‘25 Year Environment Plan’ and how this approach can be applied to the UK’s afforestation plans.

Each presentation will be followed with a brief opportunity for questions and answers complemented by a major opportunity for discussion with the panel of speakers at the end of the workshop.

The event will be live-streamed via Arctic Basecamp’s Facebook page, and will be followed by a drinks reception hosted by Professor Alexandra Gerbasi, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter Business School and Professor Gail Whiteman, Founder of Arctic Basecamp and Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School.