Net-zero: The ten key policy initiatives to get us there
A cross-party committee has warned of the ‘lack of government policies in place’ to deliver the UK’s legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Science and Technology Committee’s new report says that ‘urgent action is needed’ and lays out ten key policy recommendations across different sectors to prepare the UK for net-zero.
Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:
“Throughout our inquiry, it was worrying to hear that although the government may be ambitious when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, it is not putting the policies in place which are needed to achieve those targets. We need to see the government put its words into actions.
If governments across the world fail to act, it will have dire consequences for the environment and generations to come.”
The ten policy recommendations at a glance:
- Developing a clear strategy for decarbonising heat – which, the report says, should include large-scale trials of different heating technologies, such as heat pumps and hydrogen gas heating.
- Incentivising energy efficiency home improvements, by adjusting Stamp Duty so that it varies according to the energy performance of the home as well as the price paid for it. Homebuyers could claim back reductions on Stamp Duty if they make energy efficiency improvements. The report also suggests funding for homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades.
- Reducing vehicle emissions by bringing forward the ban of conventional car sales to 2035, introducing fiscal incentives for consumers to buy low emissions vehicles, and working with public services to accelerate the deployment of EV chargepoints.
- Strong policy support for onshore wind and solar power projects. The Committee also wants to ensure that national planning policy facilitates the re-powering of existing sites.
- A review of the Smart Export Guarantee, the successor to the feed-in tariff scheme―by the end of 2020. The report says it should be ready to include a minimum price floor if there is evidence of a lack of market competitivity.
- Support for new nuclear power generation so as to sustain, but not grow, the UK’s nuclear power industry. The report says the government should support sufficient renewable power alternatives to fill the gap.
- Removal of greenhouse gases: Actions to develop a future framework for managing and incentivising greenhouse gas removal on the scale required for net-zero emissions.
- Clear action on carbon capture, usage and storage: The report seeks greater clarity on the details of the government’s carbon capture, usage and storage action plan.
- Clean growth regulation of the energy market: The report suggests considering changing Ofgem’s principal objective, to align with emissions reductions targets.
- Support for local authorities: The report wants support for local authorities and the public in contributing to the UK’s net zero target. For local authorities, it recommends access to low-cost, long-term finance as well as a statutory duty to develop emission reduction plans in line with the national targets.
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