UK100 will be speaking at the Net Zero Nations Projects Conference.
The science is clear, we know that human activity is changing our climate and that this will have a devastating impact on human lives, the economy, and the natural world – ranging from the extinction of some species and the melting of ice caps to extreme weather patterns threatening our homes, businesses, and communities.
Energy security and net zero are two sides of the same coin. The energy transition and net zero are among the greatest opportunities facing this country and we are committed to ensuring that the UK takes advantage of its early mover status. Global action to mitigate climate change is essential to long-term prosperity – the overall costs and risks of global warming are equivalent to losing between 5% and 20% of global GDP each year.
After decades of reliance on imported fossil fuels, the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s mission is to replace them with cheaper, cleaner, domestic sources of energy. In response to high household energy bills resulting from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the government stepped in, paying around half of the average household’s energy bills over winter and around half of wholesale energy costs for some businesses. But the way to maintain lower-cost energy for everyone is to move to cleaner and cheaper energy to protect us from volatile international energy markets, while underpinning our clean energy transition, so the UK becomes a net zero economy by 2050. It will also help us make sure Britain has among the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe by 2035.
The UK has already made huge progress in decarbonising its economy and decoupling emissions from economic growth. Thanks to the Climate Change Act (2008) and Environment Act (2021), we have a strong legal framework for reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Between 1990 and 2021, we have cut our emissions by 48%, decarbonising faster than any other G7 country, whilst growing the economy by 65%. The UK was also the first G7 country to sign net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law.
The UK’s strategy for net-zero is to lead the world in ending our contribution to climate change while turning this mission into the greatest opportunity for jobs and prosperity for our country since the industrial revolution.
Removing dirty fossil fuels from the global economy will lead to the creation of vast new global industries from offshore wind to electric vehicles and carbon capture and storage. By moving first and making the United Kingdom the birthplace of the Green Industrial Revolution we are building a defining competitive edge.
The changes will have wider benefits for the public and businesses alike. We will all enjoy cleaner air, increased biodiversity and improved access to green spaces. We will see greater efficiency in the way we travel and heat our buildings, which will be better protected from more extreme weather events. We will also put consumers at the heart of this transition, helping them make their homes warmer, and more efficient, and ensure that they pay a fair, affordable price for their energy.
In 2050, we will still be driving cars, flying planes and heating our homes, but our cars will be electric gliding silently around our cities, our planes will be zero-emission allowing us to fly guilt-free, and our homes will be heated by cheap reliable power drawn from the winds of the North Sea. And everywhere you look, in every part of our United Kingdom, there will be jobs. Good jobs, green jobs, well-paid jobs, levelling up our country while squashing down our carbon emissions. That is the clean and prosperous future that awaits every one of us as the UK leads the world in the race to net zero.
But we cannot tackle climate change alone. We will need to take a coordinated approach, working across local and national government, the devolved administrations, and with businesses and civil society organisations. And we will need to make it easier and fairer for individuals, businesses and households to decarbonise so that our whole society can work together to reduce emissions.
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to attend the conference and hear from those leading on the net-zero agenda by highlighting key examples of case studies and projects from around the world using new innovations and technologies which can help accelerate the transition to a net-zero nation by 2050.
Join us on the 15th of November for the Net Zero Nations Projects Conference - Become United in the Drive to Below 1.5°C