One week left to respond to UK Government’s Net-Zero Review

The review was kick-started late last month, with new Prime Minister Liz Truss stating that her Government would seek to change the nation’s plans for delivering its 2050 net-zero target to ensure that they are  “pro-growth” and “pro-business”.

Chris Skidmore MP has been tasked with overseeing the review. Skidmore is a former business and energy Minister who has been a strong advocate against initiatives like the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of Conservative MPs.

The first stage of the three-month review is closing on Thursday 27 October and edie readers are encouraged to respond, providing ideas for delivering a net-zero transition which boosts energy security, contributes to levelling up and furthers energy security.

The Call for Evidence can be accessed here.

Skidmore has repeatedly stated in public that the intention of the review is not to water down the UK’s legally binding long-term target but to map a clearer path to its delivery and ensure that the economic opportunities are captured. He has stated: “I want to ensure that net-zero isn’t just viewed as the right thing to do for our environment, but becomes an essential driver of economic growth – and a win-win for Britain and the world.”

This has raised eyebrows, given that Truss is pressing ahead with some moves that the Government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has stated will undermine the transition. These include lifting the ban on fracking and failing to bring forward a new, national home energy efficiency scheme.

MPs have also reported no progress in the update of the Net Zero Strategy, which was mandated by the High Court earlier this year after it ruled that the Strategy is unlawful. Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg confirmed this week that his Department will not be challenging the ruling.

The CCC’s most recent annual progress report to Parliament stated that the UK was making “scant progress” towards its 2050 climate goals, with the slowest progress recorded in the built environment and agriculture sectors. The report points to a history of policymaking which has not been joined-up, and poor efforts from the central Government to engage with local authorities, businesses and the general public.

A set of recommendations from the review is due to be published before the end of 2022.

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