Treasury committee asks for evidence on how to make a ‘Net Zero recovery’ from CV-19

The Treasury Committee  is relaunching an  inquiry into the decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance, launched by the previous Treasury Committee on 5 June 2019, and it wants written evidence on how and whether the UK’s response to coronavirus should take the Government’s net zero target into account.

Key questions are:

  • Should the Treasury’s support package to business distinguish between companies based on how much they pollute? 
  • Should the Treasury be directly funding Green infrastructure as part of its Coronavirus spending package? 
  • Are there any green policies that the Treasury should change or commence due to the Coronavirus in order to facilitate the transition to meeting Net Zero? 
  • In which ways will the new economy post-Coronavirus allow the Government to change the way it finances meeting the Net Zero Target? 
  • Are there outcomes from the Coronavirus that will enable the Treasury and HMRC to meet the Net Zero target more easily?  

Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:  “The Committee has received a great deal of evidence since launching this inquiry over a year ago. But with the impact on the economy of coronavirus, clearly much has changed.

“The Climate Assembly’s report published last month said that post-lockdown steps to aid economic recovery should drive progress to achieve net zero. So now is the time to ask whether the government can seize the opportunity presented by the crisis to further green the economy to achieve net zero by 2050.  Whether the level of HMT support should depend on how much companies pollute, or if it should directly fund green infrastructure, are some of the issues that we would like evidence on.”

Lisa Ashford, chief executive  of ethical investment platform Ethex, said:”The government’s wider focus to level up and ‘build back better’ is a fantastic opportunity not only to rebalance the regional economy, but also to invest in areas such as sustainable transport, ecological food production and dynamic renewable energy networks. Many of these schemes are community led – creating significant value for  local stakeholders whilst also delivering tangible environmental benefits that do not require billions of pounds of investment.

“Covid-19 has certainly brought a new perspective on the policy agenda as a whole. This should be the opportunity we use to help invest in green technologies and decarbonise our economy, taking advantage of new approaches to blending catalytic finance that developments in the Fintech sector have enabled to accelerate this transition.”

New evidence must be submitted by 28 August, more details here.