Ahead of COP26, the government has been told to take the lead – both home and abroad – on climate, nature, and a clean, fair recovery from Covid-19.
On 8 November, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published a paper, arguing that the government’s forthcoming 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution should be used as a means to deliver an investment-led economic recovery that focuses on job creation – creating up to £1.6mn jobs – decarbonising the economy, restoring nature and tackling inequality. It found that so far, the government’s planned investment is insufficient for meeting the transformative challenges of achieving Net Zero, with the average additional investment needed per year over this parliament, £33bn.
It made a series of recommendations, including the establishment of a Net Zero and Just Transition Delivery Body, which would then be tasked with developing and implementing a delivery plan for net zero.
It also called for an ambitious package of investment, targeting the delivery of zero carbon infrastructure and restoration of nature, adding that government should at least commit to plugging the current £29bn investment gap between its planned investments and stated goals for decarbonisation and the restoration of nature.
Such a package should include financial support mechanisms for both carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen clusters, which will have a key part to play in delivering a Net Zero economy. It explained that upfront investment is required by government for the successful development of this industry and will serve as a boost to the local economies where the sectors are based. According to IPPR estimates, an additional £1.5bn will be needed each year. It added that government should commit to a managed transition for oil and gas in Scotland and the UK by delivering a “Net Zero Deal” for the North Sea.