In a thorough examination of the government’s net zero ambitions, a Conservative MP warned that postponing climate action runs the danger of harming the UK’s economic prospects.
The government’s climate plans, according to the Chris Skidmore assessment, need to be more consistent and ambitious.
According to the report, the UK is “falling behind” on some goals and requires a “fresh approach.”
It mandates 25 steps over the course of two years, such as the eco-labelling of food and the phase-out of gas boilers by 2033.
Former prime minister Liz Truss hired Mr. Skidmore, a Tory MP, to assess the government’s implementation of net zero to make sure it was “pro-growth and pro-business.”
Ed Miliband, the opposition climate secretary for Labour, claimed that the lack of “urgency and consistency” on the part of governments was “denying our country the economic prospects that climate action offers.”
Caroline Lucas, a member of parliament for the Green Party, claimed that the assessment itself held back from urging “really transformative measures to stop our dependence on polluting, hazardous fossil fuels.”
According to the government, the UK is setting an example for the rest of the world in combating climate change and creating future green jobs.
What is meant by net zero?
Are the UK’s net zero policies financially feasible?
Are the UK’s goals being met on schedule?
The balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removal from the atmosphere is known as net zero.
As part of the worldwide effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, the UK has set a legally enforceable goal of attaining net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One of the most environmentally conscious Tories, Mr. Skidmore, signed the statute enacting the 2050 emissions target in 2019 while serving as energy minister.
In order to gather information, he spoke with business executives, government officials, and energy specialists across the nation for months.
Mr. Skidmore refers to net zero as “the growth opportunity of the 21st century” and asserts that in order for the UK to benefit economically from reaching the goal, “rapid action” and decisive action are required.
Businesses have complained to us that deficiencies in the UK’s investment environment, such as a lack of skilled labor or inconsistent policy commitment, are causing them to miss out on economic possibilities today.
“Spending money is a necessary part of moving swiftly. We are aware that investing in net zero now will result in greater economic and environmental benefits than waiting.
“The study acknowledges that we have lagged behind, but it outlines how we may regain global leadership in these fields,” he continued. The currently existing barriers must be taken down.
A leaked copy of the assessment, which the BBC saw before it was published on Friday, stated that “the need for clarity, stability, consistency, and continuity from government” was a major demand from all over the nation.
Along with outlining 25 steps the government should take over the following two years, it also lays out long-term objectives. These consist of:
legislation mandating the 2033 phase-out of gas boilers rather than 2035
To reduce carbon emissions, more environmentally friendly foods are “eco-labeled.”
removing the planning restrictions for solar panels
Giving significant net zero projects, such as new nuclear power facilities, longer-term funding certainty
putting plans into action this year to enhance solar and onshore wind production, with a goal of tripling solar production by 2035
Rather than 2030, normal oil and gas flaring will be stopped by 2025.
Mr. Skidmore concluded by saying that delaying choices could result in the UK losing out to other nations in a “net-zero race” for jobs, infrastructure, and investments.
He claimed that the UK had “hit a tipping point” where the hazards of “not zero” were now larger than the risks related to immediately taking steps to achieve net zero.
This is the reason we require a new strategy for achieving net zero, writes Mr. Skidmore. “One that identifies stable, cross-sector 10-year missions that can be developed, giving stakeholders and investors the vision and stability.”
The BBC was told by sources in the renewable energy industry that it was crucial that the suggestions from the assessment be “taken forward promptly,” adding that “the government needs to take the same kind of nimble and empowered approach as was employed for developing the coronavirus vaccine.”
The influential reviewer of the economics of climate change, Lord Stern, applauded Mr. Skidmore’s report in 2006.
In his statement, he expressed the hope that the prime minister will respond to the review “with the urgency and scale necessary to avoid this great economic opportunity from slipping through our fingers.”
The UK’s growth story for the next ten years is centered on this transformation and the investment and innovation it reflects.
Speaking on behalf of the administration, Mr. Skidmore’s assessment “recognizes the government progress that has been made to far in moving toward legally-binding net zero targets,” according to a government official.
In fact, we’ve reduced emissions by over 44% since 1990 while growing our economy by 76%, and our policies have supported 68,000 green employment since late 2020. The UK is leading the world in combating climate change and creating green jobs for the future.