This is a crucial moment in the UK’s journey to net zero

We know that a fairer, stronger, green and digital economy can regenerate local places and improve people’s lives. But, to achieve this, policymakers across the UK need to better-understand people’s readiness for change, giving practical support, inspiring trust, and mobilising local action. Community engagement is vital in a fair, sustainable, and socially transformative shift to net zero.

An evidence-driven just transition

Our journey to net zero

Climate change Inequality Institute for Community Studies Places Systems change

19 February 2024

Our new report warns existing net zero transition policies risk making the poor poorer, and push struggling communities further into deprivation and exclusion. 

Quest for the ‘S’ in ESG

Environment Innovation and Investment Social action Social innovation

9 February 2023

How can businesses act in both environmentally and socially responsible ways? What are the trade-offs between sustainability and social outcomes? This report examines how FTSE 100 companies approach ESG.  

Leaving no one behind in transition to net zero: report from our policy roundtable

Climate change Environment Inequality Institute for Community Studies

18 March 2024

Contributions to our roundtable event with the Foundation for Science and Technology and Nuffield Foundation, hosted at the British Academy.

Views from around the UK

Will our transition to ‘net zero’ support the government’s plans to level up? Are we on track for a successful shift to a fairer, greener society? Our Institute for Community Studies asked people their views.

Views and insights

Event: Family and community vulnerabilities in the transition to net zero

The climate emergency presents unprecedented challenges, demanding urgent responses from not just governments and businesses, but also from households and communities.  

Existing visions for the UK’s journey to net zero fail to mitigate the potential risk of unequal impacts on different people and places. This calls for a critical reflection around how net zero policy is designed, and how we collaborate for net zero policy to be delivered, for a just transition.  

On 12 October, policymakers and influencers in local and national government came together with academics and interested parties to explore new research and consider the multiple and intersecting ways in which net zero policies are likely to affect people’s daily lives in their communities, and how the overall policy environment plays a role in their ability to meaningfully participate.

'Talking transitions: the road to net zero'

In this short film, The Young Foundation’s Institute for Community Studies hears from members of the public, seeking to gain a greater understanding of their concerns about the transition to a carbon-neutral society, and find out just how much – or how little – people understand about the challenges we face.

Watch our Liberal Democrat Party Conference panel discussion

On Monday 25 September 2023, our CEO, Helen Goulden OBE, joined a panel discussion to discuss what a community-led transition to net zero would look like.

The session was chaired by Sam Robinson of the Social Market Foundation, and panellists included Will Walker (Power to Change), Hina Bokhara (London Assembly Member) and Wera Hobhouse MP.

Watch our Labour Party Conference debate

On Monday 26 September 2022, in partnership with Power to Change and the Social Market Foundation, we convened key thinkers and policy-influencers to discuss a community-led approach to achieving net zero. The Young Foundation’s CEO, Helen Goulden, shared a platform with the Shadow Climate Secretary, Kerry McCarthy; the Mayor of North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll; and London Assembly member Leonie Cooper.


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