While the UK was the first major economy to sign net zero into law, other regions in the world are catching up. As this trend continues, the fight for green investment is becoming more fierce. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reveals what moves must be made to consolidate the strong start made in the UK, and to stay ahead in the ‘green’ game.
Recent analysis from business organisation the CBI has revealed that if the UK can make the most of 27 green growth prizes, the reward could be a £37billion to £57billion boost to GDP by 2030.
As a result of this opportunity, the CBI is proposing a series of measures to help the UK move swiftly to secure investment, boost supply chains and create green jobs:
1) Deliver a clear and stable policy environment to build business confidence
The CBI’s suggestion includes accelerating major policy decisions to stimulate both supply and demand in green markets. For example, introducing concrete timetables for removing gas boilers and advancing the Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) cluster progress.
Implementing a new compulsory net zero test for government policy-making and working with the Office for Budget Responsibility would help to make the climate impact of major tax and spending decisions more transparent.
The CBI has also urged all political parties to prioritise green growth in their manifestos ahead of the next general election.
2) Devise a comprehensive set of incentives to enable investment in the green economy
Reviewing the tax system to support the net-zero transition and establishing a net-zero investment plan are also initiatives at the top of the CBI’s wishlist. The business organisation suggests a new tax credit could support and encourage green industries.
Identifying green investment gaps and policies with the intention of crowding in private finance could also prove important. Regarding political parties, the CBI has urged them to commit to a way forward on carbon pricing and future innovative funding.
3) Drive efficiency and improved coordination of delivery mechanisms
The CBI also suggests that the UK government establish an Office for Net Zero Delivery to ensure consistent delivery across Whitehall departments.
Other recommendations include:
- Incorporating green skills into existing training opportunities and creating a statutory requirement for all schools and Further Education institutions to make young people aware of green career pathways
- Reforming the planning systems for both local and major projects to enable faster delivery of green infrastructure, including financial incentives for communities that accommodate critical net zero infrastructure and ensuring all planning processes have a duty to support the net-zero transition
“The economic opportunity of the 21st century”
Rain Newton-Smith, director-general of the CBI, said: “If we needed any further proof that green growth really is the ‘economic opportunity of the 21st century’ then a potential £57billion boost to the economy provides just that.
“Not only does it offer hope for lifting the current economic gloom, but it can deliver a path to sustained growth for years to come – all while providing vital protection to our environment, improved energy security and increased prosperity across the country.
“With a pivotal general election fast approaching, all parties should be on red alert for green growth and put it at the very heart of their manifestos.”
Laimonas Noreika, CEO of agricultural loan marketplace HeavyFinance, commented: “Decarbonisation efforts across Europe need to ramp up, not only to unlock the billions claimed by the CBI but to hit global net zero goals. Carbon reduction should be a central focus of governments and businesses, promoting action and innovation to drive decarbonisation measures such as retrofitting or promoting sustainable investments such as Article 9 Funds in order to lead more organisations to make a positive climate impact.
“Article 9 Funds, in particular, can play a significant role in decarbonisation efforts, supporting sectors including agriculture that can deliver sustainable food production through no-tillage farming, reducing emissions while supporting resilient food production. The cost of inaction will only see the UK and major players in Europe miss out on the billions on offer and further fall behind climate targets.”