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Net-Zero measures are key to achieving future government goals

A Sustainable Future

The UK Government has released a new whitepaper called “Levelling Up the United Kingdom”, highlighting the nation’s commitment towards creating systematic change and eliminating regional economic differences. While the full report incorporates net-zero and the likely clean technology sites planned for the future, some environmental leaders believe there needs to be more focus on net-zero and its influence on future governmental strategies.

The transition to net-zero can deliver massive opportunities for many regions that may have fallen behind. Areas that need the most attention with the shift to net-zero are generally located outside the South-East and are often in some of the lowest economically performing areas. While the movement to net-zero is likely to be quite disruptive, it will also bring about significant benefits. The shift to a green industrial future requires considerable investment in new infrastructure and production processes, as well as adopting new technologies. The report suggests this could involve an average investment of between £50 to £60 billion every year.

The report has raised some concerns from environmental leaders with the level of detail and measures taken on net-zero and progressive climate action. Katie White, the executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF, believes we are facing a climate and nature disaster. White states that to ensure we improve the health and wellbeing of people, we need to utilise every possible channel to accelerate the shift towards net-zero. This approach should be at the core of UK policy, particularly in the new whitepaper released this month. Channelling public and private investment towards climate and nature goals is critical to levelling up the UK. Investing in the transition towards a green economy will generate significant cost savings for the future and will directly benefit communities across the entire nation. These changes will deliver a surge of new green industry jobs, improve public transport networks and support more efficient homes.

Harriet Lamb, the CEO of Ashden, said she was pleased to see a focus on skills and industry progress but believes further efforts are needed to promote specific green talent and their association with net-zero. As discussed in the report “A Road to Zero Carbon” by Friends of the Earth and Ashden, without adequate funding support, the green skills revolution will lack the drive it needs for significant progress.

The 12 missions detailed in the new whitepaper includes measures to generate additional economic opportunities to enhance education and quality of life nationwide. A fast transition towards a net-zero economy will be critical in achieving these goals. Increasing investment in renewables, building efficiency, electric vehicles, low carbon industries and public transport are vital in generating jobs, increasing productivity, investment and creating the future workforce the UK needs.

Nina Skorupska, CEO of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, believes that with the necessary support, renewables and clean technology can be a catalyst for achieving the government measures, creating thousands of new jobs and generating billions of investment nationwide.

There is already evidence of the positive impacts renewables can have on a region. For example, renewable energy development in the Humberside has delivered positive regeneration across the area. Projects like this now need to be replicated elsewhere, and with further pressures in terms of energy prices, the need to accelerate the energy transition is much greater. Creating housing stock that is fit for a net-zero future is more critical now than ever. Building an economy that can deliver the required sustainable industries for the future in regions that need the investment the most is essential.

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