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The Net Zero Review was commissioned by former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government last September to explore how the UK could better meet its net zero commitments in a “pro-business” and “pro-growth” way.
Earlier in the year, the government’s existing Net Zero Strategy was judged to be unlawful by the High Court for failing to show how it would meet the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets, which limit the amount of greenhouse gases the UK can emit. The government chose not to appeal the ruling and was ordered to produce a revised strategy by March this year.
Led by Conservative MP Chris Skidmore, the Net Zero Review concludes that much more should be done to reap the economic benefits that net zero presents, and quickly. It makes 129 recommendations in total, covering areas such as business incentives for investing in decarbonisation, reforming the planning system, making better use of infrastructure and delivering energy efficient homes.
“In developing this report, we have engaged with communities, economists and climate experts from across the country through more than 50 roundtables and 1,800 submissions,” Chris Skidmore explained.
“My recommendations are designed to make the most of this historic opportunity, covering the length and breadth of our economy, so that people in every part of the country can reap the benefits of this both in their communities, and in their pockets.”
The Review sets out ten priority missions to harness public and private sector action out to 2035:
Examples of specific recommendations include a minimum energy efficiency rating of EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) B for all non-domestic buildings by 2030; replacing EPCs with an upgraded ‘Net Zero Performance Certificate’; introducing a carbon calculator and eco-labelling to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions; bringing forward a planned ban on gas boilers to 2033; and launching a ‘Help to Grow Green’ campaign offering vouchers for SMEs to invest in net zero measures.
All eyes are now on how the government officially responds in due course, ahead of publishing its updated Net Zero Strategy in spring.
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