Workshop on UK Land Use for Net Zero, Nature, and People

Eunomia Research and Consulting > Our Clients > Workshop on UK Land Use for Net Zero, Nature, and People

UK Research & Innovation, the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero, the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology, and the Scottish Government

In collaboration with other members of the new Land Use for Net Zero (LUNZ) Hub, Eunomia delivered a two-day workshop with key players in land use policy making, research, and governance. The workshop sought to identify approaches that can be used consistently by the four UK nations to develop comparable pathways to Net Zero.

Agriculture and land use are contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. At COP28, the UK Government endorsed a declaration of intent to increase public funding and scale up science-based solutions that will make agriculture more sustainable and food systems more resilient to climate change.[1]

A groundbreaking, cross-sectoral, transdisciplinary consortium, the LUNZ Hub was created to advance research and integrate knowledge on land use – from soil carbon to afforestation, renewable energy to green finance – and help metabolise evidence into policy to reduce agricultural emissions in all four UK nations.[2]  

Eunomia is one of 34 leading research and stakeholder organisations making up the LUNZ Hub, which is co-led by the James Hutton Institute and the University of Leicester, with £6.25 million in funding until 2027. We bring our expertise in holistic land use change, carbon dynamics, and reducing agricultural emissions; our experience working with stakeholders across the land use value chain; our track record in impactful work for policy makers; and our leadership in shaping strategic vision, foresight, and scenario development. 

The workshop drew together 40 stakeholders from each UK national government, the major environmental NGOs, farmer organisations, and research institutions concerned with agriculture and land use. It was delivered in Manchester in partnership with Professor Paula Harrison of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Over two days, participants explored these questions:

  • What are our targets for Net Zero, nature, and people?​
  • What are the on-the-ground actions that could help us reach these targets?​
  • What are the preferred Net Zero pathways for each nation based on clusters of key actions?​
  • What drivers of change are likely to deliver these actions and how are these linked?​
  • Which drivers of change are the most influential and which actions are most likely to be impacted?

The workshop began the process of building consensus on the scope, components, principles, and intended outcomes of a common scenario framework. This framework will help forge a flexible way of thinking about Net Zero in land use to facilitate the development of unique but comparable pathways in each UK nation, as well as synthesis between them. The workshop also gathered perspectives on the best environmental, social, and economic outcomes for the pathways.

This marked an important first step in the efforts of the LUNZ Hub to drive necessary transformations in land use. The next steps will be a series of events in each of the four nations, the development of modelled pathways to Net Zero, and stakeholder input to refine these and create viable pathways for change.

[1] COP28 UAE 2023 Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action.

[2] The LUNZ Hub is co-funded for 40 months by UK Research & Innovation. It was co-designed by Defra and the Welsh and Scottish Governments.