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Pathways to a decarbonised United Kingdom
Society must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, not just delay or adapt to climate change. Industrialised nations must reduce their carbon emissions to meet international targets to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Decarbonisation of the United Kingdom could follow many pathways, such as moving toward low-carbon electricity production or changing transport technologies. These pathways will require many improvements in technology and modifications in behaviour, and will involve political, organisational and economic changes. It is necessary to evaluate which of the many carbon reduction options provide successful pathways to a decarbonised UK. Dr Kanako Tanaka, from Tyndall Centre North at UMIST, and colleagues are examining how to assess the best mix of mitigation responses in the UK to suggest pathways that reduce carbon emissions over a scale of several years to several decades. The researchers will construct scenarios of future transport, electricity supply and other energy-related activities to build up a UK-wide picture of carbon dioxide emissions from buildings, communities and cities. They will also assess the transition from present activities and energy systems to different end-points 100 years from now. They will then use engineering and economic based simulations to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of potential carbon reduction methods, and will use life cycle analysis and multi-criteria evaluations to assess the social acceptability of different options. The combination of quantitative and qualitative information will provide advice for policy-makers on the potential of mitigation options that combine carbon reduction projects on a city and national scale. The integrated nature of the results will provide insights that transcend disciplines and will provide information from a combination of technical, economic and social perspectives. The project will also supply the Tyndall Centre's Integrated Assessment Model with information about decarbonisation of the energy system.

The Tyndall Centre's flagship project on decarbonising the UK is assessing the best mix of carbon reduction pathways to follow over the next 100 years. Credit: © Bill Dunster Architects More information Contact the lead investigator of the Theme 2 Flagship Project (Transition to a decarbonised UK - construction and integrated assessment): Dr Kanako Tanaka Tyndall Centre (North), UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK Phone: +44 (0) 161 200 3727; Fax: +44 (0) 161 200 3723 Email: k.tanaka@manchester.ac.uk Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr Simon Shackley, Dr Kevin Anderson and Professor Nick Jenkins, Tyndall Centre North, UMIST Project duration: October 2001 to September 2005 Useful web sites: The Tyndall Centre: www.tyndall.ac.uk Theme 2 Flagship Project: www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme2/theme2_flagship.shtml UK Government Energy Savings Trust: www.est.co.uk Powershift programme: www.est-powershift.org.uk Energy efficiency measures for the home: www.saveenergy.co.uk The Carbon Trust: www.thecarbontrust.co.uk/thecarbontrust

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