On Monday 5th October the Aldersgate Group launched their latest report 'Building a net zero emissions economy: next steps for government and business'.
Ramboll advocates that more action is required if the UK is to achieve its #netzero targets - we believe this can be done through mainstreaming decarbonisation and incentivising transition across our economy. We very much support the Aldersgate Group’s 6 key recommendations in their report.
For example, the report advocates the acceleration of the Green Finance Initiative by creating a well-capitalised National Investment Bank: this builds on the recognition that green financial mechanisms typically outperform those that don’t demonstrate or promote low carbon outcomes.
The recommendation for policy and regulatory measures to cut emissions in buildings, surface transport, power and waste are crucial along with behaviour change to lay the foundations to implement decarbonisation technologies that can finish the job. The renewable generation of heat and power and low carbon transport solutions will likely gain the greater attention, but the government is right to acknowledge the fundamental role of energy efficiency measures which are ‘low regret quick wins’ as the report puts it. Completing the strong progress on decarbonising electricity requires clear, and a behaviour changing, carbon price trajectory for the 2020s as set out in the Aldersgate report. This must also apply to heating and cooling of buildings, transport and waste.
The report’s recommendations to grow the potential for negative emissions by creating a market for nature-based solutions also needs to be put at the heart of the recovery. This is key to averting the climate crisis with nature-based solutions able to achieve at least one-third of the climate action needed. The government needs to implement legislation, such as the Environment and Agriculture Bills, whilst still encouraging business, regulators and communities to do more. Initiatives, such as negative emissions technologies (NETs) should be scalable and given financial stimulus, mechanisms and incentives to succeed. Also, the path needs to be smoothed for flexibility in planning systems to allow for nature recovery networks to be planned, connected and successful. Enabling nature to provide negative emissions solutions can only be positive for the society.
As a sustainable society consultant celebrating our 75 years of sustainable solutions this month, we are thrilled at the political, economic and commercial recognition of sustainability and the SDGs/inclusiveness (termed ‘levelling-up’) as integral parts of making better decisions, ensuring our sustainable recovery from Covid-19, and forming a vanguard for the UK’s hosting of COP26.
The climate is changing and we need to take drastic action now. Dr Anna Jones, a Science Leader for our client the British Antarctic Survey, talks to us about the challenges and opportunities we all face in addressing climate issues, and the urgency to take action. We will be releasing more on our Climate action campaign soon.