Lecture Kleinman Center Event

Governing Net Zero

Hybrid Event


Thomas Hale
Associate Professor of Public Policy, Oxford University


Mark Alan Hughes
Founding Faculty Director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy


Kleinman Energy Forum
Fisher Fine Arts Library
220 S 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This live event is also available on Zoom. 

Visiting Scholar Thomas Hale discusses the next phase of net zero and the governance required to achieve the goals.

If attending in person, you must present a Penn Green Pass to attend. Details will be emailed to you after registration.

Event Summary

“Net zero” has gone from a scientific concept to a demand of fringe activists, to a mainstream organizing principle for mitigation in record time. After COP26, at least 90% of the global economy is covered by some kind of net-zero pledge. But having reached the “end of the beginning” of net zero—a near-universal commitment to the destination climate science says we need to arrive at by the middle of the century—a more difficult phase emerges. A concept describing a global outcome must be operationalized for individual countries, regions, cities, sectors, and companies. Pledges must become binding pathways with sufficient short-term action to be credible.

The next phase of net zero therefore requires building political power to shift rules and institutions that drive change; it requires governance. Visiting Scholar Thomas Hale explores what might an effective governance system look like, including voluntary programs, UN-led orchestration campaigns, international standards, and national regulations.

Please note this is a hybrid event. We look forward to welcoming guests back to the Kleinman Center’s Energy Forum. In accordance with the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 guidelines, if you are joining in person you will be required to wear a mask and present a green PennOpen Pass (for members of the Penn community) or PennOpen Campus pass (for visitors) to attend. Further details for joining in-person or virtually will be emailed with your registration. Boxed lunches will be available to go following the event!


Governing Net Zero

Thomas Hale


Thomas Hale

Professor of Public Policy, University of Oxford
Thomas Hale is a professor in public policy at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government. Hale is a 2021-2022 Kleinman Center Visiting Scholar.

Mark Alan Hughes

Faculty Co-Director
Mark Alan Hughes leads the Kleinman Center as faculty co-director and writes on topics ranging from deep decarbonization to the future of Philadelphia’s energy landscape. He is also a professor of practice at the Weitzman School.