IFG - Seven steps government must take to keep its net zero target alive
The government’s response to the energy price crisis right will be critical to preserving political and public support for net zero policies, warns a new paper by the Institute for Government.
Published today, Net Zero: Agenda 2022 sets out seven steps the government needs to take – to ensure momentum on climate change is maintained in 2022 and to build on 2021’s ambitious net zero strategy.
The first test the government faces is to show it can help households weather the immediate energy cost crisis without losing track of its net zero commitment. And it also needs to show how it can reconcile its net zero target with its other objectives of providing secure, affordable energy in the longer term. Failure to do this risks fueling discontent on its backbenches and undermining the cross-party political consensus on the need for action for climate change that has existed for 30 years.
To maintain the momentum built in the run up to the Glasgow climate conference now COP26 is done, the IfG paper says the government needs to:
- Manage the immediate cost-of-living crisis
- Fill in the gaps in its net zero strategy, including publishing the outstanding strategy for agriculture and land use
- Develop a net zero test to apply to spending and other policies to ensure net zero is properly embedded into government decision making
- Sort out governance on net zero by transforming the COP26 team into a standing net zero unit in the Cabinet Office
- Engage honestly with the public about the costs and benefits of its net zero strategy
- Publish an adaptation strategy covering all departments and sectors and review responsibilities to ensure adaptation has enough clout within government
- Use the remaining months of the UK’s COP presidency to make good the commitments made in Glasgow, and address uncertainty over its aid budget
In addition, the report recommends that relevant departmental select committees should ensure that they regularly scrutinise individual departments’ progress against their net zero commitments.
Jill Rutter, IfG senior fellow and report author said:
“In the run up to COP26 the prime minister said last year that net zero was one of his top priorities. Now that the Glasgow conference is ‘done’ the government needs to show that it can maintain that momentum and put in place the detailed changes needed to translate its strategy into action. But first it needs to convince the public that it can manage the immediate energy bills crisis, without sacrificing its long-term net zero objective”
Notes for editors
Latest News from
Higher debt interest costs should not prevent tax cuts, says IEA economist23/06/2022 15:35:00
Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the latest ONS public finances data
IFS - Inequalities in early child development remained stubbornly high through the 2010s23/06/2022 12:15:00
Inequalities in the early cognitive, social and emotional development of children in the UK, which are so important in shaping later life outcomes, have changed little between those born in the early 2000s and those born in the early 2010s.
Mistake to reinstate the pension triple lock, says IEA labour market expert23/06/2022 10:05:00
Professor Len Shackleton, labour market expert at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs commented on the return of the pension triple lock, which will see the state pension rise by 10 per cent in line with inflation.
Work Foundation - Research uncovers ‘digital poverty’ across North West’s rural communities with one in four struggling to complete key tasks online23/06/2022 09:05:00
A new study by researchers at Lancaster University reveals 28% of the population in rural North West England are not confident completing key tasks online, such as applying for a job or making an online call. Most alarmingly, over half of those aged 65 and above and those on lower incomes lack digital skills, meaning those most in need of online services are least likely to be able to access them.
Latest inflation data should not deter the Bank from raising rates more quickly, says IEA economist22/06/2022 16:05:00
Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the latest inflation data from the ONS
IEA - Lockdown disproves nanny state alcohol policies, finds new report22/06/2022 15:05:00
Lockdown disproves nanny state alcohol policies, finds new report
It’s time to get on the front foot – JRF responds to latest inflation figures22/06/2022 14:05:00
Rebecca McDonald, Chief Economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation responds to latest inflation figures
IFS - Latest increase in state pension age from 65 to 66 led to income poverty rates among 65-year-olds more than doubling20/06/2022 15:10:00
Between late 2018 and late 2020, the state pension age for men and women rose from 65 to 66, meaning that the approximately 700,000 65-year-olds in the UK had to wait another year before they could receive a state pension. The key impact of this was that 65-year-olds missed out on state pension income of £142 per week on average.