The UK has committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Net-zero requires a new blueprint for our water, energy, transport and food systems that must cut their emissions substantially in 30 years’ time. How can we ensure that the transition to net-zero and climate adaptation is a just and fair transition for the people of the UK? To find out this project will look at the interlinkages between these different systems, known as the ‘nexus’, to understand their contribution to a socially just net-zero. It uses energy justice as its ‘compass’ to navigate the nexus as energy is the common interface between water, transport and food.
The research will reveal how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change by placing social justice at the centre of the nexus to achieve a just transition. In partnership with the North of Tyne Combined Authority, the project will investigate climate policy interventions and citizen engagements with nexus systems in the North of Tyne, focusing on Newcastle Helix, an exemplar urban sustainable development in Newcastle. The project will investigate how climate action plans and policies in the North of Tyne can inform Newcastle Helix to create a nexus for social justice. Through participatory action research methods with key stakeholders, the project seeks to understand how policies for net-zero and climate adaptation do not further disadvantage the most vulnerable and increase socioeconomic inequalities, and will suggest practical ways forward for attaining a just transition.
Three relevant articles to the project exploring energy, food and water:
• Walker S, Cherry B. ‘An integrated energy system.’ Network Magazine, May 2018
• Panzone L, Cherry B. ‘Buying into low carbon.’ Transform, November 2019
• Heidrich O, Khadem M, Cherry B. ‘Staying in the loop.’ Transform, July 2020