Urgent action is needed to combat the climate emergency. But in September, UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced plans to water down some of the government’s biggest green commitments around net zero – back pedalling on plans around fossil fuels, clean technology, recycling programmes and green vehicles. This threatens climate breakdown and undermines the economy.
Last week, along with over 400 businesses and NGOs, we added our name to a joint letter coordinated by E3G, which notes the lasting damage that weakening net zero policies will do to the UK economy.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has recently highlighted the economic benefits of rapid action on net zero, and the increased fiscal and debt risks associated with delay. Smart policies to boost clean technologies like electric vehicles and efficient, low carbon heating and more support for the most vulnerable will lower the cost of living.
Overall, the delay to key targets and lowering of ambition on existing government policies risks the UK falling behind other countries, who are forging ahead with huge incentives to accelerate net-zero investment. Investor confidence is crucial to the UK being able to enjoy the economic opportunities presented by the net zero transition, including investment and the jobs that brings.
We urgently need the government to reconsider and act in the best interest of people and the planet. Now is not the time to delay in the face of the greatest threat facing the world. Now is the time for action.