UK government has published a 10-point plan with an aim of boosting green jobs and putting impetus into the UK’s net-zero ambitions.
At Ramboll, we have just launched our ‘Climate action’ campaign. We understand that it is vital to inject ‘climate action thinking’ into everything we do and to support our clients at all stages of their climate action journeys.
"The UK originally set one of the most ambitious targets for net zero but to remain global leaders in climate action we need to move further and faster. While a welcome move, the government’s 10-point plan comes worryingly close to the wire.
It is understandable that both the pandemic and Brexit have dominated this year, but now is the time to put climate action back at the top of the agenda, with detailed planning and implementation timelines that reflect its critical status for society.
Crucial to rapid implementation will be a clear and detailed policy framework that enables both public and private sector to plan their own strategies. We must move past declarations of intent and really get down to the detail if we hope to address climate challenge at the scale and speed needed.
Furthermore, rapid social and behavioural change is crucial in preventing a climate crisis. It is ultimately policy that changes behaviour, and so the government must deliver definitive policy commitments to drive the cultural changes needed to meet net zero carbon goals and develop a more sustainable society. The Prime Minister and his government need to put on a united front and show real leadership in uniting the public and private sector and providing the correct environment for change to be delivered.
For example, road user charges may not be popular but in the long term could have a highly significant impact in reducing UK vehicle emissions. The government must look beyond the next election cycle in their decision making and make decisions based on what is best for people and the planet in the long term."
"Missing from the government's proposals is how they plan to mitigate the impact of our built environment - currently it contributes up to 40% of the UK's carbon footprint and so reducing this should be crucial. The £1bn pledged for the green homes initiative is a start but to make any meaningful impact we need action right across the built environment - this narrow focus simply isn't enough. Industry collaboration here is key; the construction sector is poised to contribute but the government must lead this interaction and utilise existing knowledge and networks to help the sector innovate, change practices and deliver the change needed.
We must also make the route to green financing much clearer in both the private and public sector – these pledges will be hard to implement if we can’t actually follow the money.
Offshore wind investment also looms large and illustrates the policy point – we need a marine strategy in place if we are to avoid the unintended negative impacts on biodiversity by rushing ahead on offshore wind
Finally, there is no recognition that the UK also needs to build in climate resilience planning with all 10-points pure decarbonisation policies. Our climate is changing and so our infrastructure and landscape needs to reflect the impact this will have, to ensure our route to net zero is a real success for us all."