The UK Government recommends the mission is still zero

Our Head of Consultancy, Timothy Holman, reflects on the latest recommendations from the independent review of the UK’s Net Zero 2050 strategy.

For anyone in doubt of the Government’s commitment to net zero by 2050, Chris Skidmore MP’s Mission Zero review of Net Zero has endorsed the pledge, with some additional recommendations to accelerate the UK’s efforts, because at the moment we’re just not moving fast enough.

However it is disappointing to see again that there is a lack of initiatives focusing on business energy efficiency, save for a few recommendations to utilise and strengthen existing compliance routes to support the adoption of efficiency measures, such as through EPCs and ESOS.

Importantly though, the report does acknowledge the cost associated with net zero, primarily that the longer we wait the more expensive it is going to be. The catch is that we are at a stage where much of the technology being designed to support the transition is in its infancy, and so costly. This is really where energy efficiency should play a bigger part in strategy, and where further measures to address energy use should be coming through. The current cost of these measures far out-performs that of the advanced carbon reduction and carbon removal based options recommended at the moment. When it is clear that waiting to take action is going to cost businesses more, unfortunately the report does not go far enough to set them on the right path.

For now we will wait to see if the Government follows up on the review recommendations and if Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, decides to create a new Office for Net Zero Delivery in the Spring.

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