A net zero emissions target can deliver significant economic and industrial growth provided Government matches innovation with ambitious green policies.

The business and civil alliance, the Aldersgate Group, has published new research showing that a net zero emissions target offers real opportunity for UK businesses as long as the Government actively promotes bolder innovation policies and ambitious marketing strategies to encourage industrial development and economic growth.

Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group, said: “UK businesses are ready to take up the challenge of delivering a net zero emissions target but bold innovation and market creation policies will be essential to give them the support they need.”

Molho points out that businesses want to see the Government’s innovation policy move beyond the “fear of failure” and are calling for “trial critical technologies such as CCS and hydrogen at scale in order to inform key policy decisions in areas such as heat and industrial decarbonisation”.

The Aldersgate report, Zeroing in: Capturing the Opportunities from a UK Net Zero Emission Target, sets out key policy measures that should accompany a UK net zero emissions target to maximise industrial opportunities for UK businesses. It features innovative case studies from the energy, steel, aviation, manufacturing, ICT and cement sectors showing how businesses are already taking action towards net zero emissions.

“Support for innovation must be combined with measures informed by lifecycle emissions, such as markets standards, to grow the demand for ultra-low carbon infrastructure, products and services and set a market level playing field in the process,” Molho adds.

A second report, Accelerating Innovation Towards Net Zero Emissions, from Vivid Economics and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), sets out key recommendations to accelerate innovation. These recommendations come from a review of past case studies of rapid innovations relevant to decarbonisation from the banking, manufacturing and energy sectors.

At the current rate of progress, the UK is likely to miss legally-binding targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 against 1990 levels. Energy Minister, Claire Perry, has asked the Climate Change Committee to review the UK’s long-term climate targets, and their advice is expected on 2 May 2019.

Last reviewed 5 April 2019