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Building back a strong net zero UK economy

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Recommended proactive actions Government can take:

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Accelerate power decarbonisation

  • Set out a clear vision for zero carbon UK power generation that provides certainty to unlock private sector investment.
  • Invest in grid infrastructure and key innovations including smart grids and power storage.

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Make UK buildings efficient and resilient

Ensure all households meet a minimum, high level of efficiency standards by 2030 and the building sector is on track through:

  • dramatically expanding energy efficiency programmes
  • using large-scale pilot projects to inform a credible heat decarbonisation strategy
  • undertaking home heating retrofit programmes to enable all homes to transfer away from natural gas to low carbon alternatives by 2050
  • strengthening building standards.

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Accelerate clean, resilient transport

  • Speed up the roll-out of electric vehicles, bringing the end date for sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030, and buses and heavy goods vehicles to 2035.
  • Invest in nationwide charging infrastructure to give consumers confidence.
  • Ensure the economic accessibility of electric vehicles to all consumers.
  • Invest in innovative pilot projects to accelerate the transition of buses and heavy goods vehicles.
  • Fund improved, affordable public transport, and walking and cycling infrastructure and support.

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Support low carbon innovation

  • Provide support for targeted innovation for net zero transformation of aviation, shipping, cement and steel.
  • Develop a ‘net zero economy’ skills and education strategy, including to transition workers from fields most impacted by decarbonisation measures.
  • Ensure financial support packages require businesses to have science-based strategies aligned with national climate goals.
  • Align circular economy principles with a net zero economy, encouraging greater resource efficiency, circular business models and recycling of materials.

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Grow a thriving natural environment

  • Invest in flood defences and water management.
  • Accelerate delivery of water industry environmental enhancement projects to unleash investment.
  • Recognise the value of private sector investments in this area, helping them to choose nature-based solutions.
  • Enhance green spaces, plant trees, encourage climate-friendly agriculture and restore carbon-rich habitats, supporting the protection and enhancement of biodiversity in the UK.

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Help enable better public choices

  • Implement organised incentives and infrastructure to reward more sustainable behavior.
  • Undertake widespread engagement on the health, economic and environmental co-benefits of sustainable behaviours, such as cutting food waste, changes in diet and using public transport.
  • Embed education on sustainability, climate change and behavioural choices, as a requirement in all levels of schooling and in higher education.

See case studies