How do we secure global net zero?
Climate change impacts are widespread and intensifying, but strong, sustained reductions in carbon emissions will limit climate change.
At Manchester, our researchers are working with governments, businesses and communities to drive those urgent reductions.
Our expertise includes how to:
- speed up the transition from unabated fossil fuels to low carbon energy;
- fast track the decarbonisation of sectors including housing, transport and food;
- accelerate exploration into transformational technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture and storage;
- measure and account for carbon emissions;
- better understand co-benefits and trade-offs between sectors (such as water, energy and agriculture) and between sustainable development goals to improve policy and products.
Through our research, collaborations and partnerships, we’re making a difference on a global scale.
Real world solutions
Discover some of the ways we are driving emissions reductions.
Accelerating climate action
The University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research developed a co-benefits toolkit to help the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) embed climate and equality actions in all of their decisions.
Super low carbon live music
Researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research produced a roadmap setting out emissions reduction goals that would make the live music sector compatible with targets in the Paris Agreement.
Decarbonising transport and industry
In collaboration with The University of Manchester, researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change worked alongside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and a team of modellers at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency to devise ways to reduce carbon emissions in the transport and industry sectors.
How can a heat-saving system cut both CO2 emission and family bills? Entrepreneur Keith Rimmer worked with The University of Manchester to create a device that could lead to a reduction of around 150kg CO2 emission for a 3-bed semi, and deliver an estimated energy saving of 8% — equivalent to £93 saving on annual fuel bills.
Changing industry practices to achieve net zero
How can we change industry practices to achieve net zero? If the UK follows current climate policies, greenhouse gas emissions will fall short of the 2050 net zero target. Experts at The University of Manchester are demonstrating how strategies to reduce the demand for materials and products, without jeopardising people's quality of life, needs to form a key part of the climate solution.
How can we make concrete greener (and cheaper)? Global production of cement — the 'glue' that holds concrete together — accounts for 8% of the world's CO2 production. Adding tiny amounts of graphene to concrete dramatically increases its strength — meaning much less material is needed, and CO2 emissions are significantly cut.
Exploding or zombie batteries can cause injury and disruption during the recycling of discarded electronics. Experts at The University of Manchester have used artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to develop a vision-based device to scan electrical junk and detect problem batteries - even in the most damaged equipment.
Explore some of the pioneering projects our researchers are working on.
- Unlocking the potential of marine wave energy.
- How nuclear industry engages with communities that surround it to deliver low carbon energy.
- Increasing the sustainability and affordability of solar technology.
- The FutureDAMS consortium – enabling resilient and sustainable development of water-energy-food environment systems.
- Materials for net zero – our roadmap to drive new advanced materials research.
- Nuclear energy for net zero: a strategy for action – recommendations for assessing the role of nuclear energy in the UK’s net zero future.
- Carbon capture and storage, geothermal extraction and subsurface energy storage.
- Developing a hydrogen economy.
- Converting carbon dioxide and waste into sustainable fuels to meet net zero targets.
- Feasibility of Afforestation and Biomass energy with CCS for greenhouse gas removal (FABGGR) – uniting expertise from The University of Manchester with four other universities.
- UKCCSRC: UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre – drawing on Tyndall Manchester research expertise.
- Decarbonising the live music industry – a roadmap for the UK live music sector.
- Community energy – visions for the future.
- City level action on climate change – embedding co-benefits in decision making.
- Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre – providing solutions for energy-intensive industries.
- Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub – helping organisations to improve the use and consumption of plastics across Greater Manchester.
- One bin to rule them all – a framework for eliminating consumer choice and confusion in plastic waste management.
- Mobilising Urban Living Lab – transforming sustainable infrastructure provision locally and globally.
- Reducing aviation pollution – informing new regulatory standards on aircraft emissions.
- Decarbonising transport with neighbourhood plans in northern England.
- How graphene-enhanced farming can cut costs and emissions.
- The Tyndall Local Carbon Budget Tool – helping local authorities play their part in achieving Paris Agreement targets.
- Developing a UK Community Emission Modelling System – a multi-partner collaboration involving Manchester Environmental Research Institute
- OSCA – providing new capabilities to predict future changes in the sources, emissions, and atmospheric processes responsible for air pollution.
We're at the forefront of the search for solutions to the climate crisis, seeking to be a global force for positive change.
Our Sustainable Futures platform draws together the unique breadth and depth of our interdisciplinary research, and our special focus on advanced materials, biotechnology, cancer, energy and global inequalities allows us to tackle some of the biggest challenges with a discipline-focused lens.
Find out about the programmes and people behind our research.
The scale of our interdisciplinary research activity sets us apart. Discover our world-leading research institutes and centres working on ways to mitigate the climate crisis:
- Dalton Nuclear Institute
- Henry Royce Institute
- Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre
- International Centre for Advanced Materials: ICAM (icam-online.org)
- Manchester Environmental Research Institute
- Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
- Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
- Manchester Urban Institute
- National Graphene Institute
- Productivity Institute
- Sustainable Consumption Institute
- Tyndall Manchester
- Thomas Ashton Institute
We bring thought leadership and influence to the policy debate.