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NetZeroPlus: When Science Meets Economics

3 November 2021

2 minutes to read

NetZeroPlus: When Science Meets Economics

The NetZeroPlus project is helping the UK reach its net zero 2050 climate target. By producing evidence-based research, the NetZeroPlus team aim to show how planting trees removes greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, while also providing additional benefits. These include enhanced biodiversity, water quality, leisure, and health.

Led by Professor Ian Bateman OBE, Director of the University of Exeter’s Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute, the NetZeroPlus team comprises over 30 researchers from the University of Exeter, the University of Aberdeen, Forest Research and the National Trust who work with more than 40 industry and government partners. The project is one of six awarded a £31.5million investment to provide methods supporting the government-funded Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrators programme.

NetZeroPlus focuses on arguably the most important, timely and cost-effective greenhouse gas removal option currently available: Trees. The Exeter team will help plan the planting of 750,000 hectares of trees – an area greater than Devon. Through this, they will gather evidence, address knowledge gaps, and enable decision-makers to assess the consequences of different tree-planting options.

The programme will bring together the research in the form of a simple-to-use, free web tool. This will allow anyone to see the effects of planting different trees in different areas. The research is expected to shape future government decision-making on tackling climate change.

LEEP Director Professor Ian Bateman will be talking at COP26 for the following events:
– Bringing climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services into policy and economic decision making, 3rd November;
– A natural capital approach to decision making for future woodlands, 4th November;
– The launch of the First Minister’s Environmental Council (on which Prof. Bateman is a member) with the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of the Scottish Government, 5th November; and
– When Science Meets Economics: The Right Tree in the Right Place for NetZeroPlus, 6th November.

For more information please contact:

For more information on NetZeroPlus, please contact Project Manager Dr Kate Gannon on


The University of Exeter is proud to be at COP26 this year, helping to address the urgent issue of climate change by engaging with an ecosystem of disciplines, voices, and solutions. Find out how we are working at the forefront of interdisciplinary research to tackle climate change, in partnership with governments, business, and communities.


Read the University of Exeter at COP26 Brochure here.

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