2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 calculator international conference

2050 Calculator International Conference, 26-27 April 2023

2050 Calculator International Conference 26-27 April 2023

At the end of April, over 100 delegates representing 11 countries from around the globe, came together for the annual 2050 Calculator conference, held in Richmond, south-west London, UK.

Over two days, delegates learned lessons and best practice from panels and speakers, and shared experiences by participating in roundtables. The conference ended with a guided tour of Kew Gardens on the third day.

This was the first in-person conference since Windsor, UK, in 2019. The level of interaction and enthusiasm from all delegates demonstrated the importance of meeting face-to-face.

Day 1 summary

Matt Toombs, Director of International Climate Finance and Strategy at the UK Government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), kicked-off proceedings with a keynote speech, re-iterating the support of the UK Government, and setting out the objectives for the conference – to build community, share knowledge, and develop expertise. Matt also led the celebrations of the 2050 Calculator programme, noting that five Calculators have now been publicly linked to the development of nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Fran Walker, Principal Policy Adviser, DESNZ, UK, continued celebrations, reminding delegates that, since the original Calculator was launched in the UK, there are now more than 67 countries, territories, and cities across the world covered by Calculators.

The first panel on successes, overcoming challenges and lessons learned during the development and use of Calculators was chaired by Matt Toombs. Eight countries (Vietnam, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Colombia) provided presentations before opening up to broader discussion.

A reoccurring success was that Calculators have managed to break down siloes and bring together various parts of government, thanks to the unique position they occupy spanning multiple sectors of the economy. Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Senior Energy Consultant for the 2050 Calculator in Vietnam, noted how the Vietnam Calculator has created networks between ministries. Hershey Tapia-Dela Cruz of the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau in the Philippines, described how her minister had engaged other ministries to obtain buy-in from across government. Dr Aminu Haruna Isa, Team Lead at the Energy Commission of Nigeria, discussed how the Calculator has promoted discussion between experts and non-experts within government.

A frequent challenge mentioned was resource attrition or finding resource with capacity within government teams. One way some countries have overcome this is by partnering with universities to conduct the technical development of Calculators. The success of collaboration between universities and governments was particularly highlighted during presentations given by members of Strathmore University in Kenya and IIT Bombay in India. Both universities are now incorporating the Calculator into academic curriculums, providing insights from young minds about how countries should proceed, and educating students who aim to work in government and may be policy makers of the future.

Another common challenge was gathering the data needed to build a Calculator. This was discussed in detail during the second panel, chaired by Dr Onesmus Mwabonje, Research Fellow at Imperial College London, on meaningful data and growing modelling capacity. The importance of data was already highlighted by Matt Toombs in his keynote, where he asserted that data and transparency enabled ambition.

Dr Mwabonje opened the panel by noting that, while data gathering can be the most challenging aspect of building a Calculator, it can also be the most rewarding. The main challenges mentioned by the panel members were – data not being publicly available; data not being in the right form; inconsistencies in data; and data becoming available only late in the development of a Calculator.

One solution discussed was to conduct stakeholder engagement early on to identify and map all available data sources, and to prioritise the data of most importance to future Calculator users. The panel also discussed the importance of finding primary data and the possibility of governments legislating for the collection and publication of data. Uxue Goyoaga, Climate Change Consultant at IDOM, the implementing partner in Colombia, described how the Colombia Calculator had been updated to make it easier to modify underlying data as/when new data becomes available.

It was agreed that, when successful, the process of data collection can help break down silos within government, and the completed Calculator can provide a credible and verifiable source of data for others.

The panel ended with discussions on how data collection in the future could be automated, fed into a common data repository, and used to make real-time updates to the Calculator. A common data repository would no doubt benefit governments beyond just the Calculator.

Michel Cornet, Partner at Climact, a member of the consortium of delivery partners, rounded off the first day with a presentation on how the 2050 Calculator has evolved, and identified 10 distinct models since the original version in 2010, with the latest being Climact’s own 2050 Pathways Explorer. He also reminded us that models are most useful when complemented by other models, and the benefits (multiplier effect) of using the Calculator together with an optimisation model, such as PRIMES or TIMES.

Day 2 summary

The second day of the conference focused on promoting the use of 2050 Calculators. Dr Jem Woods, Director for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, led a panel on effective outreach activities. Sharmala Naidoo, Technical Principal – Climate Change, Mott MacDonald, then presented a framework for stakeholder engagement. Zoe Norgate, Deputy Director for International Net Zero, at DESNZ, led a further panel on how to amplify projects to maximise impact, followed by a presentation from Victoria Hoare, PhD Candidate, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, on meaningful engagement, part of Victoria’s ongoing PhD research.

It was unanimously agreed that better stakeholder engagement leads to better programme results, as it helps generate interest and ensure ownership within government. A mantra that emerged from the discussions was ‘engage early and often.’ Early engagement helps prioritise the needs of users and identifies sources of data. Later on, pre-launch validation workshops are important as these provide policy makers with the opportunity to understand, question, and challenge assumptions in Calculators.

Panel members shared lessons from their own countries, including the usefulness of forming national steering committees, consisting of members from various parts of government to help ensure broad support across government.

Several panel members noted that stakeholders often have their own agendas, and these should be considered when planning events. An example was given of private sector attending stakeholder engagement events to get a glimpse of government policy.

When it comes to promoting Calculators, it was noted that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Outreach activities can be as simple as publishing the Calculator on websites, press releases, articles, and social media communications, alongside showcasing it to various ministries within government. It’s also helpful to piggy-back off other events for promotion, for example, presenting the Calculator at UN COPs or other climate conferences.

A common approach to create interest is to re-name the Calculator to reflect the country context and cater to national debate; for example, India’s Calculator is named the India Energy Security Scenarios 2047 (IESS 2047) to focus on energy security and 100 years of independence. Elsewhere, the term ‘Calculator’ was too synonymous with statistics, so the name was changed to avoid this perception. A further approach is to publish example pathways or, even better, to allow users to publish their own pathways to gain buy-in.

The final panel was on citizen engagement and was led by Professor Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Adviser, DESNZ, UK. Experiences from different countries were discussed, including lessons learned from citizen engagement in the UK using the original 2050 Calculator, as well as more recent engagement around plans for achieving net zero in the UK. Including the public and bringing them with us on our journey was emphasised as essential. Although there’s been a lack of public understanding on what we can do to mitigate climate change, there’s a rising tide of awareness and knowledge.

The final presentation was prepared by John Watterson, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories Knowledge Leader at consortium member Ricardo, providing suggestions for maintaining and institutionalising Calculators after they’ve been developed and launched.

Fran Walker provided concluding remarks. She noted the value of being able to come together and exchange ideas and experiences. She also emphasised that it takes time and effort to embed Calculators in government and stressed the importance of long-term partnerships to help achieve this, noting the success of the Vietnamese and Indian Calculators which have been part of the programme for a decade.

This was the final international conference after a decade of delivery. Please stay in touch via our LinkedIn group and the 2050 Calculator website.

Past Events

2050 Calculator International Conference

25-26 November 2020


On 25-26 November, we held the programme’s annual international conference, exploring how to further strengthen the global community who have adopted, or are looking to develop, the 2050 Calculator to support a more sustainable future.

For this year’s conference, we hosted two, two-hour webinar sessions over two days for an international audience (separate east and west sessions). The sessions enabled participants to showcase their work, learn from others and share best practice with other 2050 Calculator teams. Attended by 100 participants from 43 countries, the sessions opened with a keynote address from John Murton, the UK Government’s COP26 Envoy. Other topics discussed included the UK’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, use of the 2050 Calculator as a public communications tool, stakeholder engagement and the path to a hydrogen future. We also received updates from the Calculator teams in Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Nigeria, the EU and the UK.

Thanks to all our speakers and participants. It was inspiring to see the continuing great work being done to lower carbon emissions worldwide.

Visit our LinkedIn group for an event synopsis and to view the recordings from the sessions.

2050 Calculator International Conference

13-15 November 2019


De Vere Beaumont Estate
Burfield Road, Old Windsor
Berkshire, SL4 2JJ, UK 

Experts from across the world explored how to strengthen the global community who have adopted, or are looking to develop, the 2050 Calculator model to support a more sustainable future. Delegates of the three-day conference had the opportunity to showcase their work, learn from best practice and network with other 2050 Calculator teams.

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Mott MacDonald, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Ricardo Energy & Environment and Climact worked in partnership to make this event as dynamic and beneficial as possible, together with expert speakers from across the globe to share and discuss ideas on the 2050 Calculator approach.

The event proved to be an excellent opportunity to discuss the work that has already been accomplished through the 2050 community and to develop ideas for the future. It also provided an opportunity to talk to experts on how to develop a Calculator and how the Calculator can support policy engagement and development. 


2050 Calculator International Conference Agenda