IN 2021, THE GOVERNMENT published its Net Zero Strategy, setting out a pathway to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Since then, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other global factors have changed the economy in the UK, leading the government to commission a review of the Strategy and the economic opportunities of the transition.
Now, the Mission Zero: Independent Review of Net Zero has been published, overall endorsing the Net Zero Strategy. It says the UK must go further and faster in achieving net zero goals and recommends changes to trigger action and enhance various roles in delivering the goal.
A central finding is that net zero is the economic opportunity of the 21st century. It says that although the UK is well placed to help deliver net zero through offshore wind, carbon storage and green finance, the country is in a global race to attract investment and unlock growth.
The report emphasises that delaying the transition to net zero will cost the UK, increasing the national debt and missing out on additional GDP growth – as well as risking the catastrophic effects of unchecked climate change.
The Mission Zero report identifies policy clarity and uncertainty as a main reason for failing to capitalise on the economic opportunities of implementing the Net Zero Strategy. It also suggests that the political will to deliver change is a fundamental requirement.
No Time To Waste
Simon Allford, RIBA President
RIBA President, Simon Allford, said: “We support this report’s conclusion that greater ambition is needed to reach net zero, and recognition of the importance of decarbonising the built environment.
“The report suggests that Government must be bolder on all fronts. So we very much welcome the suggestion of an Office for Net Zero Delivery to help to ensure that climate initiatives are robust and connected across government – nothing can fall through the cracks.
“A National Retrofit Strategy is another imperative – by embedding many of the recommendations listed in the review the government can start a retrofit revolution.
“We urge the Government to adopt the report’s recommendations. The built environment plays a crucial role in tackling climate change, and we continue to offer our expertise to the Government as we move the dial towards net zero. The clock is ticking, there is no time to waste.”