UK Net Zero Review
The UK Government has published Chris Skidmore MP’s much anticipated independent review of its strategy for achieving net zero by 2050.
Chris Skidmore, is an MP and environmental campaigner who was commissioned to review the government’s strategy for achieving net zero by 2050 – a target which the UK is required by law to reach.
Over 1800 organisations and individuals submitted responses to the Call for Evidence . The review makes recommendations for government, industry, local authorities and individual households – and highlights that we are all responsible when it comes to achieving net zero.
Workplaces and the Economy
Part one focusses on Net Zero as a growth opportunity and recognises that the climate and economy are closely linked. Transition to a net-zero economy presents opportunities from which the UK should be able to benefit.
The Review suggests that ultimately the economic benefits of net zero will outweigh the costs. It estimates that the UK could see approximately 2% additional growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through the benefits from new jobs, increased economic activity, reduced fossil fuel imports and cost savings.
The report says that we must move quickly to realise these opportunities, some of which are being missed today.
It draws seven conclusions:
Part two of the review looks at how the UK can maximise the opportunities by working collaboratively, noting the roles of local authorities, communities and individuals to deliver the transition.
Climate Positive Communities
The Review is clear that there must be more locally led action on net zero. It recognises that communities want to act, and that government can help by providing central leadership, and empowering people and communities to deliver locally.
It says that government should put public engagement at the heart of its work on net zero, including:
The Review presents the potential benefits which net zero can bring to us all, including cost savings, homes that are warm in winter and cool in summer, cleaner air improved health and wellbeing and new jobs. In delivering these benefits, the Review suggests that the role of individuals can be summarised as:
The Role of Local Government
The Review recognises the key role which local authorities must play in delivering Net Zero.
It notes that the Climate Change Committee (CCC) published a recent progress report which report noted:
“It remains unclear how central, devolved and local government will operate coherently towards the net zero goal.”
It suggests that by reforming the relationship between central and local government on net zero, local authorities can be empowered to deliver place-based, place-sensitive action and unlock the high levels of local net zero ambition that we have across the UK.
The Review makes the following recommendations:
Key Actions for 2025
The review makes a total of 129 recommendations which aim to catalyse efforts to tackle emissions across every part of the economy. The review summarises a common message that is the need for clarity, certainty, consistency, and continuity from government and proposes ten priority missions to harness public and private action out to 2035:
Net Zero Rugby
The recommendations of the review are encouraging for the approach being taken in Rugby.
Our own Climate Change Strategy recognises the importance of many of the aspects identified within the report – be they related to the potential for benefit within workplaces and the economy or the need to engage and empower local communities who have the passion and expertise to make progress where government can not.
The Council’s cross party Climate Emergency Working Group are now considering the recommendations of the report and how they can be used to further our work in Rugby Borough.
The full review is available to read online