The UK government has announced an independent 3-month review into the delivery of its net zero climate commitments, led by former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore MP. The review will assess whether meeting the goal will provide energy security and remain ‘affordable for businesses and households’.
The review comes as the UK seeks to bolster its energy security through the use of fossil fuels by confirming its support for a new oil and gas licensing round, and lifting the ban on onshore fracking for gas production following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Despite this, the government insists the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050 remains in place. Skidmore will lead the review of the government’s approach to delivering its net zero target, after being commissioned by the Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“The UK continues to lead the world on tackling climate change, having been the first G7 country to commit in law to net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050,” said Skidmore. “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. I’m kicking off a 3-month review today to find the best ways of making this happen – speaking to as many people in as many sectors and regions as possible, to ensure the review generates fresh policy ideas that can ensure we deliver a ‘big bang’ moment for net zero.”
The review will examine the most ‘pro-business way of reaching net zero’, including how to maximise opportunities such as innovation, investment, and available jobs, and look at the economic costs and benefits associated with new technology. In 2019, the UK became the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations to set a net zero target. The goal will require holistic changes in the way the public travel, eat, and use electricity, and last year set out its strategy for meeting the goal.
Rees Mogg commented: “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.”
“Chris Skidmore’s rapid review will help us identify how best to make that happen, while also ensuring all parts of the UK reap the economic benefits of tackling climate change that I have no doubt will be on offer.”
The announcement follows recent criticism over Conservative climate policy by Labour. In particular the decision to lift the ban on fracking led by Rees-Mogg which was called an “energy policy for the 1820s” by Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, Edward Miliband.
The review will produce a report including a set of recommendations, which will be submitted to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) by the end of December 2022
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?