20 October 2021

IOM3 responds to UK Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener

The UK Government has published its long-awaited Net Zero Strategy on Tuesday (19 October) setting out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet the 2050 net zero target.

The 368-page document details how spending will be prioritised to deliver job growth, supporting up to 440,000 jobs by 2030, while reducing emissions from transport, power, heavy industry and the built environment. 

The publication of a UK Net Zero Strategy is a major milestone on the journey to a low-carbon resource efficient society. While further analysis will unveil the extent to which the proposed policies will deliver the ambition set out and required, the Strategy is a clear signal that demonstrates the UK Government’s intentions and direction for the UK economy ahead of COP26. It will provide welcome clarity for businesses and individuals, building confidence and enabling action.  

IOM3 CEO Colin Church FIMMM CEnv, says, ‘The Strategy released by the UK Government sets out a raft of different policies across society and the economy to help us achieve Net Zero. Few, if any, members of IOM3, or the sectors they work in, will be left untouched by these changes and we will all have a role to play in their implementation as part of the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient society. 

It is especially good to see that many of these changes – from committing to a critical raw materials strategy, through greater support for decarbonising heavy industry, to recognising the importance of supporting skills transfer to new, greener industries - are ones IOM3 has been calling for as vital from a materials, minerals and mining perspective.’

In a foreword, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said the UK will ‘unleash the unique creative power of capitalism to drive the innovation that will bring down the costs of going green. We set an example to the world by showing that reaching net zero is entirely possible, so the likes of China and Russia are following our lead with their own net zero targets, as prices tumble and green tech becomes the global norm.’

The Net Zero strategy comes just ahead of COP26 which will take place in Glasgow in less than two weeks’ time, bringing parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

This Strategy will be submitted to the UNFCCC as the UK’s Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy under the Paris Agreement.

Key takeaways include the following:

  • A commitment to decarbonise the UK power supply by 2035
  • Funding for new hydrogen and industrial carbon capture business models
  • Supporting industry to install energy efficiency and on-site decarbonisation measures
  • A commitment to establish an Expert Committee on Critical Minerals, a UK Critical Minerals Strategy to be published in 2022 and a Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre to be established
  • Sector and supply chain development plans for key low carbon sectors to be published
  • A commitment to reform the skills system including by legislating for jobs that support action on climate change to be considered in the development of new local skills improvement plans and introducing a sustainability and climate change strategy for education and children’s services
  • Government investment in R&D to increase to £22bln
  • A commitment to explore how to empower the public and businesses to make green choices including improving public facing climate content and a government led advice service.

A summary of the proposals and commitments for key sectors can be found below. 

Alongside the Net Zero Strategy the UK Government published its response to the 2021 Committee on Climate Change (CCC) progress report to Parliament and Treasury’s long-awaited review into the financial opportunities and challenges of the transition. 

To read the document in full, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy