As the UK recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has an opportunity to build an economy that is stronger, greener, and fairer. Swift and proactive action to finance the net zero transition will be critical to meet the UK’s national and international commitments and support private finance to seize the investment opportunities of tomorrow. The right level of public investment in critical sectors like housing will ensure the transition is affordable for everyone across the UK.
The Net Zero Strategy set out an ambitious plan for a Net Zero UK. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The green investment commitments in the 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review will be the real test of the Government’s commitment to climate. With £16 billion of financing from Green Gilt Issuances now committed to green, there is no excuse for inaction.
The following priorities, covering finance, homes, the oil and gas industry and international climate spending, are critical to ensure the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review in 2021 delivers net zero fairly, sustainably and at the required pace:
- Increase finance commitments to net zero and take a strategic approach to finance governance and delivery for the transition
- Invest in a green homes infrastructure plan to create 190,000 jobs, protect consumers from volatile gas prices and reduce emissions
- Enable UK’s oil and gas regions to transition effectively by investing in re-training programs and redirecting subsidies towards funding renewables projects in affected regions
- Reinstate the mandatory 0.7% GNI foreign aid target and protect International Climate Finance spend
There will, of course, be other sectors, including transport, nature, and land-use, that will also need action at the Spending Review if climate commitments are to be met. However, in this briefing we are focusing on the issues that may be most salient to the Government’s levelling up and global agendas.