Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best Tortoise experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help, let us know at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

Monday 23 March 2020


A Tortoise Moonshot: Net Zero by 2030

For our first ReportIn, we’re looking at how to combat climate change – fast. We’ll be harnessing our members’ expertise and curiosity to arrive at some answers

By Giles Whittell

The UK has set itself a target that the entire world needs to get to: net zero carbon emissions. But the 2050 target date isn’t nearly soon enough. We need to get there faster and we need to keep on removing carbon from the atmosphere to have a hope of limiting warming to 2 degrees C.

But how?

It’s a huge ask – technically, economically, politically, socially – and it’s not going anywhere just because we’re preoccupied with C-19.

We know from ThinkIns that Tortoise members are exceptionally well-informed, curious and opinionated on how to combat climate change. So we’re going to make it the subject of our first ReportIn.

Call it open journalism. Call it crowdsourced journalism. The idea is to enlist members in the reporting process – with full credit where it’s due – and if it works, we’ll run two types of ReportIns. Moonshots like this one, to find ways to fix big problems. And Investigations, to find patterns in big data and scandals in plain sight.

For Net Zero by 2030 we want to harness members’ knowledge and curiosity to produce a piece of crowdsourced journalism that starts with an open mind, takes on board everything worth throwing at the problem and organises it into a roadmap that might actually be useful. Complete with potholes.

That means

  • Breaking the subject down into the four broad areas above: tech, business and economics, politics and governance, activism and society
  • Breaking them down again into manageable topics; for example, tech needs to cover all renewables – current and future – but also smart grids, charging networks, distributed power, hydrogen storage and distribution, fuel cells… and, yes, fusion
  • Enlisting participants on the basis of short online applications
  • Agreeing specific assignments, formats, deadlines
  • Keeping tabs on progress, hiccups and new ideas at weekly team meetings
  • Producing not just a story but a file of stories that can be updated, perfected and thrust under the noses of policymakers.

Each ReportIn will be guided by an editor and a researcher from Tortoise, and by you.

If you’d like to get involved, send a 100-word pitch saying why to giles.whittell@tortoisemedia.com. We’ll invite an initial team of 25 to hammer out the details in our first online meeting on Wednesday.

To paraphrase the great Gene Kranz, let’s work this problem together.

All our journalism is built to be shared. No walls here – as a member you have unlimited sharing