BEIS has opened its promised Net Zero Review saying that since last year’s Net Zero Strategy “the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other global factors have fundamentally changed the economic landscape in the UK, placing huge pressure on households and business through high energy prices and broader inflationary pressures.”
It says, “Given this changed economic context, the government will review its approach to net zero to ensure it is pursuing the most economically efficient path to meeting its climate change commitments.” It said the new landscape makes it “vital that the UK reaches Net Zero in a way that avoids exporting industry and emissions overseas”.
The review will be carried out by Chris Skidmore MP and will consider how Net Zero can:
• Deliver maximum economic growth and investment, driving opportunities for private investment, jobs, innovation, exports, and growth right across the UK;
• Support UK energy security and affordability for consumers and business and the need to rapidly increase and strengthen UK energy production and supply;
• Minimise costs borne by businesses and consumers, particularly in the short-term
It will assess the economic co-benefits associated with different policies and consider how we can drive down the cost curve for net zero technologies. It will consider innovative approaches and ways of delivering our target that ensure the government maximises the economic opportunities presented by net zero.
The review will produce a report including a set of recommendations which will be submitted to the BEIS Secretary of State by the end of December 2022. BEIS said, “The UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050 remains in place”. Chris Skidmore said he would be speaking to people in different sectors and regions “to ensure the review generates fresh policy ideas that can ensure we deliver a ‘big bang’ moment for net zero.”
The review will consider a range of evidence, consulting widely with consumers, investors, industrial leaders and experts in various fields including energy, land use and transport. It will also include a series of roundtables across the country.
Chris Skidmore MP said: “This review seeks to ‘double down’ on how we can ensure that our energy transition happens at the same time as maximising the economic opportunity for businesses and households across the country, providing huge opportunities for innovation, investment, exports and jobs. I want to ensure that net zero isn’t just viewed as the right thing to do for our environment- but becomes an essential driver of economic growth. “
Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Jacob Rees Mogg, said: “The government remains committed to reaching our net zero emissions targets, but with Russia weaponising energy across Europe we must make sure we do so in a way that increases energy security and does not place undue burdens on businesses or consumers.”
Dan McGrail, Chief Executive at RenewableUK, said: “This review gives us the chance to ensure that the UK makes the most of cheap renewable power to deliver net zero at lowest cost and boost competitiveness across the economy.
“Cheap, clean energy is fundamental to growing new high-value technologies, decarbonising the UK’s industrial base and boosting exports.
“Whether it’s building up the supply chain for the £175bn of planned investment in wind energy or developing a globally competitive green hydrogen sector, there are huge opportunities to further grow the UK’s economy as we cut our dependence on fossil fuels.”
See the full terms of reference here