Frequently Asked Questions
What are the initial tangible deliverables from the centre?
Innovations embedded in businesses and allied organisation, trained innovators, startups, education and learning for the public, polity and business. Ultimately, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions traced back to our support and or adaptation innovations.
How will your centre prioritize deployment vs. research and development? Many argue we need more equitable deployment and investment than solutions.
It is true that we have a lot of technology available, but it is also true that we do not have technical solutions for everything, for example, it would make a huge difference if we could make old homes energy efficient at a reasonable cost, with low disruption and little loss of internal space.
We still need technological innovation, but we also need innovations that allow us to deploy what we have to hand at speed and scale. Innovation - ideas usefully applied - encompasses the challenges of deployment as much as it does those of technical inventions.
What factors will guide the centre when it comes to choosing a priority list of areas for innovation and allocation of resources?
The centre will focus on where interventions can make a big impact. For example, one of our themes is the built environment and here there are two standout challenges - steel and cement. That sounds like a straight technical challenge to decarbonise both processes, and indeed we would expect to work on this, but not to the exclusion of posing challenges with respect to building design, alternative material use and so on. Each challenge will be looked at from all angles to devise viable routes to solutions that can scale.
What is the next step and when?
We have already started, with The Greenhouse accelerator, an education programme, a programme to improve the connectivity amongst London's climate change innovators and the Centre for Net Zero is setting up as we write. A number of other programmes have been funded and will appear over the next few months and we are developing further programme ideas amongst the founders.
We are operating already, but we have lots to do. We are establishing our legal identity and raising funds to enable us to support and catalyse innovations into the next twenty years.
How does the new centre hope to overcome issues of co-ordination like a lot of climate change initiatives?
We will be doing our best to bring the willing together and coordinate, cooperate, collaborate and/or partner whenever we can. We already have a team tasked with helping this to happen who are starting to map the stakeholders in climate change innovation in London. We hope to galvanise the London community to work together more effectively. We believe that improving networking is one of the most important things that we can help to happen.
What is the single most important contribution you hope the new centre will have delivered, say two years from today?
The centre is where academia, business, politics and the public can meet to work on innovations to address the challenges of climate change. There are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed that are big and meaningful. We will pursue a number of such challenges so success would be really significant progress to a tractable solution(s) for removing 5-10% of global emissions.
Why is the centre only being established now, and not say five years ago?
We have been working on this since late 2015. There has been a substantial change since 2019 that the pandemic accelerated - prior to this period it was difficult to persuade organisations to do something like this. Now businesses are asking for our help.