There is still ‘little evidence’ that the UK government has confronted the enormous scale of reaching net zero, according to a new report by the Institute for Government. It warns that meeting the challenge of decarbonisation is more challenging than responding to the COVID-19 pandemic or getting Brexit done, as it will require transformations of every sector in the country’s economy. This will take sustained investment over the next thirty years, and change everyone’s lives substantially. As such, one of the report’s biggest suggestions is to take the responsibility for reaching net zero away from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Institute for Government highlighted the Committee on Climate Change’s previous estimate that reaching net zero will cost 1-2% of GDP per year, the government must work out how to confront this cost and enact it, regardless of it is unpopular with specific groups.
Current 7th Sept 2020 read more »
Stronger leadership and co-ordination from the prime minister is needed if the UK’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 is to be credible. This report warns that over a year on from adopting the target – a decision made by Theresa May but which Boris Johnson has endorsed since becoming prime minister – the UK has not yet confronted the scale of the task. Meeting the commitment is a more difficult challenge than responding to the coronavirus crisis or getting Brexit done, and will require transformations in every sector of the UK economy, sustained investment over three decades and substantial changes to everyone’s lives. The report says a lack of co-ordinated policies, constant changes of direction, a failure to gain public consent for measures and too little engineering expertise and delivery capability has left the UK well off track to meet its target. The absence of a comprehensive plan for achieving net zero has deterred private sector investment and left people unsure of how to act.
Institute for Government 7th Sept 2020 read more »
Institute for Government 7th Sept 2020 read more »
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed that the UK Government needs to “undertake a significant programme of infrastructure investment” to enable regulators and private investment to create funding for critical net-zero infrastructure. CBI’s new report notes the need for the UK to “develop a world-class environment for private investment in infrastructure” in order to combat the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK is set to suffer from a £372bn deficit in 2020-21, despite the Government’s financial relief policies, the equivalent of 18% of GDP. This economic downturn could hinder the required investment into national infrastructure to enable the UK to meet its net-zero target for 2050. As a response, the CBI is calling for the Government to give regulators more control and targets to deliver the anticipated National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS), and have clear regulatory guidelines to support sectors with the net-zero transition.
Edie 7th Sept 2020 read more »
Climate Assembly UK to publish final report on Thursday 10 September. Following months of learning, discussion and voting, the final report of Climate Assembly UK will soon be published and presented back to the six select committees that commissioned the assembly in June 2019. A virtual launch event for the report will be live-streamed on the homepage at 9am on Thursday 10 September and will include a speech from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma MP, thoughts from some Assembly members and responses from the Chairs of the commissioning committees.
Climate Assembly 3rd Sept 2020 read more »
Emma Norris, research director at the Institute for Government: Amid the fight against coronavirus and the Brexit negotiations, the government is losing sight of its most difficult task of all: its commitment to making the UK a net-zero greenhouse gas emitter by 2050. The UK was the first country to put net zero into law and has achieved huge emissions reductions in the power sector. But more than a year on from adopting the target, and with little over a year to go until the UK hosts the rescheduled COP26 climate conference, the UK is still a long way off track and lacks a credible plan for meeting its target. It is hard to overstate the scale of the challenge. It will require investment of 1-2 per cent of GDP a year for three decades. It will involve huge transformations in every sector of the economy, including retrofitting 28 million homes to make them energy efficient, replacing every gas boiler in the country and retiring the entire petrol and diesel fleet. And it requires change at the heart of citizens’ lives: to their homes, diets and ways of travelling. But the UK’s record on making and implementing policies in areas like housing and transport is poor. The Green Deal for energy efficient homes was abandoned. The zero-carbon homes standard was cancelled in 2015. Tax and subsidies for electric cars have been subject to constant change and revision. Ministers duck difficult decisions and businesses, investors and individuals are left frustrated as policy chops and changes.
Times 8th Sept 2020 read more »