Amid a slew of ambitious UK climate announcements at the end of 2020 – from the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to the setting of a highly ambitious 2030 target – one passed under the radar: the government’s commitment to publish a “net zero” strategy1 in advance of November’s COP26 summit in Glasgow. The net zero strategy is perhaps the most important single document the government will publish this year. It needs to set out how the UK will meet its world-leading commitments on climate change, how we will share the costs and – crucially – how we will maximise the economic and social benefits across the UK. Aspirations or principles alone won’t do the trick: The level and pace of change required needs a comprehensive, far-reaching set of concrete commitments. The timing couldn’t be more important. The prime minister is “more and more obsessed”2 with COP26, for two reasons: It will allow the UK to set the tone for an ambitious and meaningful summit; and doing so is vital to Britain’s post-Brexit international and economic future. No country has produced a comprehensive net zero strategy – and the UK, with its world-leading track record, ambitious targets and urgent need to set out a roadmap for future growth, is perfectly placed to do so. A strong net zero strategy can set the template for countries across the world to produce similar plans, helping deliver rapid climate action, and build and cement international alliances. This paper sets out the 11 key questions that the net zero strategy needs to answer.
Institute for Global Change 5th Feb 2021 read more »