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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

30 March 2023 - The UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published a range of documents and consultations (full details are in their press release) setting out how the UK can boost energy security, reduce household energy bills and achieve net zero.

The announcement features the publication of two complementary documents: Powering Up Britain: Energy Security Plan and Powering Up Britain: Net Zero Growth Plan. It also includes the government’s response to Mission Zero, the independent Net Zero Review led by Chris Skidmore MP, and the government’s response to the Climate Change Committee’s 2022 Progress Report.

The measures announced today include:

  • World leading commitment to Carbon Capture Usage and Storage – The first projects will be announced to progress to the next stage of the negotiations to rollout the first Carbon Capture clusters in our industrial heartlands. The round for areas to apply for two additional future clusters has also been launched and there will be an opportunity for further projects to be added to the first two clusters. These announcements build on the £20 billion CCUS funding
  • Kickstarting investment into the UK’s emerging floating offshore wind industry by launching the £160 million fund to support port infrastructure projects, securing the UK’s leadership in this new technology.
  • Backing the first tranche of new green hydrogen production projects under the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund as part of development of this new power source.
  • Opening the fifth round of the UK’s world-leading scheme to incentivise investment in renewable electricity, backed by a budget of £205 million. Now being held annually, Contracts for Difference will build on the UK levy-funded support for renewable power since 2010 of around £80 billion.
  • Announcing Great British Nuclear, will initially be led by Simon Bowen as interim Chair and Gwen Parry-Jones OBE as interim Chief Executive Officer: with GBN’s first job to launch a new competition to select the best Small Modular Reactor technologies – one of the most advanced nuclear power technologies in the world – for development by Autumn.
  • Speeding up the planning process to attract investment – reforming the planning process to enable the building of more energy infrastructure including solar power and offshore wind projects more quickly.
  • Cutting household bills by expanding Government energy efficiency support to even more households - The Great British Insulation Scheme, a rebranded ECO+, will upgrade 300,000 of the country’s least energy efficient homes.
  • Investing more than £380 million into boosting EV charging points and infrastructure across the country to support the rollout of electric vehicles
  • Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels to heat our buildings – a new £30 million Heat Pump Investment Accelerator is designed to leverage £270 million private investment to boost manufacturing and supply of heat pumps in the UK. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which offers a £5,000 grant to anyone buying a heat pump, will be extended to 2028.
  • Providing UK Export Finance with an extra £10 billion capacity to boost exports, including from the UK’s world leading clean growth sectors.
  • Building a stable environment for businesses to invest and grow in the transition to electric vehicles and sustainable aviation fuel.

The government is also publishing the following documents:

In response to the announcements, CLG UK Director, Beverley Cornaby put out the following statement:

"Today, the UK had a major opportunity to demonstrate global leadership by setting out clearly how it will deliver its net zero commitments with urgency, speed and ambition. While it has majored on how it will create a more home grown lower carbon energy system and these announcements are welcomed, it is not clear what level of emission reductions they will result in, nor whether this will be enough to enable the UK to compete on the global stage for vital private investment. Hidden beneath the headlines in some of the many reports being published, are strong elements. For example, the 2030 Strategic Framework for International Climate and Nature Action demonstrates a world-leading cross-government approach to halving global emissions, building resilience to climate impacts and halting biodiversity loss. 

However, further detail is still needed on how far the UK's overarching Net Zero Strategy will deliver against the UK’s net zero targets. Net Zero is about more than just energy security and will reach all parts of the economy. For the UK to maintain and strengthen its climate leadership position, and to provide clarity to businesses, it needs to more clearly and comprehensively set out how its net zero strategy puts the UK on a clear trajectory of reducing emissions. The IPCC report was clear – there is no time for hesitation. The UK risks being left behind on the global race to zero – to attract investment and become a strong, resilient, net zero economy the government needs to communicate measures that show a clear trajectory towards green growth across all sectors and reap the economic benefits of the green transition.”

Learn more about CLG UK's engagement with policymakers.

Read more thought leadership from the Corporate Leaders Groups.

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Pascale Palmer

Pascale Palmer, Head of Media

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