OECD Climate Change

Systems innovation for net zero

A process to design transformational climate strategies that work for people and the planet


Systems innovation for net zero applied to the Irish transport system:

Why we need to transform the Irish transport system:

New report: Redesigning Ireland’s Transport for Net Zero: Towards Systems that Work for People and the Planet

Building on the OECD process “Systems Innovation for Net Zero” and extensive consultation with Irish stakeholders, this report assesses the potential of implemented and planned Irish policies to transform car-dependent systems. It identifies transformative policies that can help Ireland transition to sustainable transport systems that work for people and the planet. It also provides recommendations to scale up such transformative policies and refocus the electrification strategy so that it fosters, rather than hinders, transformational change.

What is Systems innovation for net zero?

While governments across the globe are making efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, climate action is not ambitious enough. To achieve net zero goals and limit global warming to well-below 2°C, as envisioned in the Paris Agreement, systemic transformations are needed.

The OECD has developed a process - systems innovation for net zero - to help governments achieve the transformational change needed to reach international climate goals while improving wider well-being outcomes.

Climate action could be more efficient and effective if focused on systems as a whole, so that – by design – systems require less energy and materials, and produce less emissions, while achieving wider well-being outcomes, such as improving our health and safety, and subsequently better lives.

How does the process work?

Systems innovation in practice

Report: Transport strategies for net zero systems by design

Efforts that primarily focus on incremental change in systems that are unsustainable by design are one of the main barriers to scaling up climate action. This report applies the OECD systems innovation for net zero process (previously known as the Well-being lens process) to the transport sector. It identifies three dynamics at the source of car dependency and high emissions: induced demand, urban sprawl and the erosion of active and shared transport modes. The report also provides policy recommendations to reverse such dynamics and reduce emissions while improving well-being.