Net Zero Review- Is It Compatible With Growth?

Net Zero Review- Is It Compatible With Growth?

NET ZERO REVIEW - IS IT COMPATIBLE WITH GROWTH? by Simon Heppner, Founder of Net Zero Now.

Chris Skidmore's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) review on the UK's Net Zero goals (now closed) has clearly focused on finding credible ways to demonstrate that economic growth and a net zero target are compatible, but it seems to me that the level of transformation, change and investment required to transition to a net zero economy means they obviously are.

As a starter for ten I'd suggest we need policy to bring forward massive national investments in four key areas. Doing even half of this at the scale required will drive economic growth over the next decade.

1. Emissions reductions focused on:

- Electricity generation infrastructure (wind, solar, hydro, tidal)

- Electricity transmission infrastructure (smart grids, demand-side management and microgrids)

- Natural Gas demand reduction, phase out and replacement with national biogas generation infrastructure  

- Transport refuelling infrastructure (electric and hydrogen) and fleet replacement

- Urban zero carbon mobility  

- Building stock: retrofit insulation and new build net positive

- Food and Farming efficiency, automation and regeneration

- Aviation stock replacement with Short haul electric planes and Long haul SAF

- National reusable packaging infrastructure  

- Public education campaigns to shift consumption preferences

- Research and development of new solutions  

2. Accelerated sequestration focused on:

- Natural habitat regeneration to increase carbon sequestration (woodland, peatland, soil, wetland, foreshore)

- National scale up of pelletised biochar production as a soil enhancer

- DAC scale up to take advantage of residual generation  

3. Adaptation and resilience focused on: 

- Flood mitigation and defences (watercourse management, shore defences, monitoring and action)

- Food and farming transition to climate resilient crops, species and practices

- Public transport infrastructure heat resilience program  

- Building stock flood resilience retrofitting

- Heat island mitigation practices

- Urban re-planting of climate resilient flora

- Climate refugee facility development (housing, education, health)

4. Export focused on: 

- Creating a national Climate Change Excellence Export Office to accelerate sale and adoption of successful solutions globally.

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