U.K. Lays Out Plans for Net-Zero Ahead of COP26

The U.K. government has released their Net Zero Strategy only a few weeks before they will host the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow. The 360-page ‘landmark’ document sets out exactly how the U.K. plans to reach their net-zero by 2050 commitment.

They are the first major economy to commit this into law, and beyond solving climate change, they also hope to secure 440,00 well-paid jobs in green industries and ‘unlock’ up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030.

This will be done through a comprehensive economy-wide plan supporting British businesses in the transition to clean energy and green technology, lowering our reliance on fossil fuels.

This includes a £140 million Industrial and Hydrogen Revenue Support scheme to fund new carbon capture and hydrogen business models to help get these green projects off the ground.

Of course, there will also be investment into renewables such as wind, with plans to also develop nuclear projects through the £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund, lowering our reliance on fossil fuels further.

Investment in green technologies is an essential part of going net-zero. To do this, the government pledged an extra £150 million towards innovation projects, bringing the total funding for net-zero research to £1.5 billion.

One area, in particular, they are hoping to develop is sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, to make travelling less carbon-intensive.

SAF is made of sustainable products such as household waste or flue gases from industry and can produce up to 70% fewer CO2 emission than traditional jet fuel in its lifetime. By 2030, the government hopes to ensure that 10% of all aviation fuel is sustainable, investing £180 million into the development of SAF plants.

Road pollution is, not surprisingly, also addressed, with an extra £350 million going to support the electrification of vehicles and their supply chains, and £620 million for electric vehicle grants and supporting infrastructure around the country.

This is being one with the hopes of introducing a zero-emission vehicle mandate by 2040.

A large part of the strategy also includes making Britain’s houses greener, with a whopping £3.9 billion going towards ‘decarbonising’ buildings. This includes a £450 million 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme making homes warmer, cheaper, and cleaner to run.

The government also plans to invest in Britain’s natural environment by giving £124 million to the Nature for Climate Fund. This will help meet their previous commitment to treble woodland creation in England by 2050 to at least 30,000 hectares a year.

While the government investments may seem extensive, getting to net-zero by 2050 will require people, and in particular businesses, to do their bit and adapt to the changes. Especially as it is likely businesses in the future will see legislation to report and reduce their carbon emissions.

Though many businesses think getting to net-zero will be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, Play it Green can offer all the tools needed to begin your journey. This includes our simple 3-step solution for a climate positive workforce.

For as little as £5/person/month you can repair the environment and balance your impact through reforestation, reduce your footprint further through weekly tips and discounts on sustainable products, and regive 10% to a good cause of your choice, adding a social impact to your environmental one.

Play it Green can also give your business access to a wide network of sustainability experts offering anything from SECR (Carbon Reporting), solar installation, Carbon Literacy training, and e-bike manufacturers.

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