17 Oct 2021

2035: Breezy Britain: Fossil fuels ditched #OurClimateFutures

This video is part of Our Climate Futures – a project which takes real science to forecast what impacts and changes humanity may face as the climate crisis unfolds. This is not a news story. At least not yet.

The year is 2035 and as the UK inches successfully toward its goal of Net Zero emissions by 2050, fossil fuels are being phased out while renewables provide virtually all the country’s energy.

Experts are clear – the world needs to stop burning fossil fuels soon to avert the most catastrophic climate change.

Practically, that scientific imperative has been translated into Net Zero targets for the middle of this century, where no more greenhouse gasses are emitted than are taken away. It’s a huge challenge. But the UN says it’s necessary if countries are to collectively meet the Paris agreement goals of limiting global heating to 1.5C.

For this story, we drew on the fact that the UK already has a legislative target of creating 40 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, as part of its own Net Zero efforts. The global energy watchdog, the IEA, says that advanced economies should have virtually decarbonised their entire energy systems by 2035 if they want to hit Net Zero by 2050. Boris Johnson recently announced a new plan to decarbonise the country’s energy by 2035.

The UK is already far along this path, especially with phasing out the use of coal for electricity. Yet replacing natural gas with renewable energy is the next step, and unleashing the extensive potential of offshore wind on Britain’s blustery coastlines, one of the best locations for wind power generation in the entire world.

Watch the video above to hear from experts on the science behind the story. Or find out more about Our Climate Futures here.