Project Cygnus

Join our programme to stimulate green economic recovery from Covid-19.

UK and Irish politicians discuss net-zero economic recovery from Covid-19, as part Project Cygnus—an EIT Climate-KIC funded programme

When: 26 November – 10.30am – 12pm GMT
Where: Online, sign up free via Eventbrite

  • Nick Tyrone, Research Director, Project Cygnus – Icebreaker One [Chair]
  • Bim Afolami, Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden
  • Alan Brown, SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun and SNP’s Westminster spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change
  • Neasa Hourigan, Green Party TD for Dublin Central and Ireland’s Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight
  • Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and Shadow Minister Digital, Science & Technology
  • Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South and Shadow Secretary for Sustainable Economics
  • Tom Sasse, Associate Director, Institute for Government


No political party came into 2020 thinking it was going to be dominated by a pandemic that would result in the country going into lockdown and, as a result, an unprecedented economic downturn. Yet here we are.

We will discuss what political parties in the UK and Ireland are doing to ensure that economic recovery from Covid is also driving us towards net-zero? 

Icebreaker One – a non-profit focused on unlocking the data needed to deliver a net-zero future – will host a panel that spans the political spectrum to find out what government and opposition parties think are the best ways to combine economic recovery with net-zero. Nick Tyrone, research director at Icebreaker One, will chair the panel.

This event is organised as part of Project Cygnus, an EIT Climate-KIC funded net-zero Covid-19 recovery programme led by Icebreaker One in partnership with Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, University College Dublin (UCD)United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , Arup and ODI Leeds.

[Online event] How can we deliver green economic recovery from Covid? – 16 November, 11.00am GMT

Speakers include:


Icebreaker One, University College Dublin (UCD), Global Open Centre of Finance (GOFCoE), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have joined forces to support cities, regions and countries to recover from Covid-19 while delivering their net-zero carbon emission goals.

We are looking for ambitious cities and regional governments, financial organisations, and both public and private financial institutions to join us in development.

Our goal is to develop analytical tools, data infrastructure, policy recommendations, economic modelling and communications that can be used worldwide. Your engagement will be central to the success of this programme, help prioritise work based on actual user needs and explore potential innovation and challenges.

What are we doing?

Phase One: throughout 2020 we will carry out user engagement with cities, investors, asset managers and economic institutions to understand:

  • The challenges and opportunities to transitioning to a net-zero future
  • How rapid financial support can be deployed to enable economic recovery from Covid-19
  • How investors, local and national governments can be sure they are investing to address both challenges
  • The role of public and private sector data, and what data infrastructure is needed to drive insight

The work will be developed in collaboration with GOFCoE, who will map resilience and adaptation needs for future-proof, sustainable finance and UCD who will provide statistical analysis at company, industry and regional levels to assess the economic impacts of Covid-19, and carry out comparative analyses across different industries to understand how green economic recovery can be fostered by policymakers and financiers. 

We will create analytics, tooling and policy recommendations for those trying to navigate the highly complex set of challenges in addressing both Covid-19 and net-zero. 

Phase Two: we will build on Phase One in 2021 to assist cities and regions to address their binding commitments to net-zero while addressing the greatest economic challenges of our time.

For more information:

  • On 16 November we hosted a panel discussion as part of London Climate Action Week to discuss how local policy interventions can help local governments, cities and regions accelerate innovation and drive toward net-zero. Watch the recording here.
  • Find a recording of our webinar on the policies to prioritise for a green economic recovery from Covid-19 here.
  • Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about the workshops taking place later this year.