What does ‘zero carbon’ mean when you don’t have electricity?

Working directly on problems to do with sustainable urban infrastructure and renewable energy for development, there are concerns that, in the stampede toward net zero carbon, we don’t leave people behind.

Part of our series Securing Global Net Zero, featuring innovation, research and technology from the University sector which could help reach targets for net zero carbon by 2050.

Engineer and Professor AbuBakr Bahaj of the University of Southampton leads the 55-person Energy and Climate Change Division, and is a scientific adviser to the University, the Southampton City Council, and government bodies in several countries including the UK, China, Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

“There are 600 million people in East Africa who have no carbon problem, because they have no electricity at all. And there are a further 2.6 billion people globally who have no clean source of energy for cooking. What does carbon mean to them?”

Resolving to move to net zero carbon by 2050 may seem a simple and necessary decision, but it is going to take all the resources and capabilities of people like these and their colleagues in the International Universities Climate Alliance.

Find out more from our member, the University of Southampton: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/about/staff/bahaj.page

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