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COP26: New ‘Futures We Want’ project sets out visions for net zero world

A new international COP26 project that showcases “desirable and achievable” visions for a net zero future across six diverse regions of the world has been unveiled.

It follows four months of collaboration between academics, business, civil society and the public across the globe, aiming to bridge the gap between scientific evidence and people’s insight through a series of virtual workshops.

Commissioned ahead of the UK’s COP Presidency, this COP26 flagship science and innovation programme brought together communities from the UK, Jamaica, Brazil, Kenya, UAE, Saudi Arabia and India.

They explored diverse perspectives and solutions to the day-to-day impacts of climate change such as electricity generation, agriculture, waste and water management, building design, reforestation and ocean conservation.

For example, India’s vision for a resilient, net zero future harnesses the country’s best assets to power its homes with solar energy and use nature-based solutions like wetland waste systems to supply communities with clean water, while Jamaica envisions implementing natural protection from hurricanes and floods through restored reefs and mangrove coastal swamps.

The UK’s vision makes the most of its resources as a coastal nation, championing its role as part of a global net zero community that trades with and learns from other nations, always with a focus on sustainable businesses.

In addition, Kenya’s vision sees solar-powered drip irrigation systems, greater use of indigenous crops and health systems that can withstand climate change.

The visions, which will be showcased at COP26, highlight solutions to climate change and celebrate international collaboration and science and innovation.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “The science is clear, we must act now to put the world on a path to net zero emissions if we are to limit global warming and keep 1.5C within reach. This means all countries, businesses and individuals have an important part to play.

“These visions of a net zero world, published today ahead of COP26, outline how a transition to a climate-resilient future can act as a real opportunity to create new green jobs, build sustainable economies and boost the health and quality of life for millions.”

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