Executive Summary

Expanding perspective and building resilience in uncertainty

By bringing the political, environmental, social and legal aspects to prominence through a PESTEL framework tool, the significant uncertainties, risks and opportunities inherent in these fields become more visible to decision-makers.   The challenge then becomes how to account for these more systematically and comprehensively in decision making processes.

Decarbonisation as an objective on its own is relatively easily achieved, but the real challenge of decarbonising whilst expanding the opportunity for inclusivity and prosperity within three decades is an unprecedented one. 

The ubiquity of uncertainty and the rapid pace of global change demands a particular way of engaging with the decarbonisation challenge, requiring a shift in what is valued in decision-making, such as responsiveness, experimentation and innovation, failure and learning, and the creation of options and resilience.

Here resilience is defined as the ability of both individual stakeholders and the country as a whole to withstand and recover from disruptions, such as unexpected changes in policies or markets, as well as to adapt to and benefit from new opportunities. Building resilience to future uncertainties related to just transition and decarbonisation is critical to ensuring a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy and to minimize negative impacts on economic growth and social well-being.

Finally, the long-term nature of achieving net zero requires a clear objective, and mechanisms to track progress towards this in as much detail as possible.