The Carbon Column – Mission Zero

In this article I discuss Mission Zero, the UK’s net zero strategy review led by Chris Skidmore

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Mission zero is published and no surprise, we are falling short.

Short of where we need to be to achieve our legally binding net zero targets by 2050.

In September 2022, Chris Skidmore, one of the more environmentally conscious tory MPs, was appointed as chair to lead the review of the UK’s net zero plans.

Mission Zero, Skidmore’s Net Zero Review, is one of the largest engagement exercises on net zero delivery in the UK. It spanned all four nations with 1,800 responses to the call for evidence and drew on knowledge from businesses, organisations, local government, academia and the general public.

The review makes 129 recommendations and Mr Skidmore states:

My recommendations are designed to make the most of this historic opportunity, covering the length and breadth of our economy, so that people in every part of the country can reap the benefits of this both in their communities, and in their pockets”.

The Recommendations

There are 8 overarching headline recommendations which will require mobilisation across the 4 nations involving all stakeholders. The 8 themes are:

  1. Using infrastructure to unlock net zero
  2. Creating sustainable governance structures for net zero
  3. Backing businesses to go green
  4. Catalysing local action
  5. Increasing transparency and engaging people
  6. Delivering cleaner, cheaper, greener homes
  7. Capitalising on international leadership
  8. Setting ourselves up for 2050 and beyond

Without really delving into the detail, it is clear there is going to be a lot of work. A lot of work in a very short space of time.

This transition to a lower carbon economy is not something we can wait for. The longer we leave it, the more we compound our environmental destruction and the harder it will be to rectify.

One of the biggest risks is something we have control over. Delaying. We have control over how long we wait to act.

Mission Zero offers 25 recommendations for 2025. That’s 25 areas to focus on immediately. such as developing a 10-year pragmatic plan to scale hydrogen, double down on the nuclear agenda to achieve the UK’s baseload. Creating cleaner homes by providing certainty of phasing out gas boilers and bringing forward the Future Homes mandate.

Other areas include specific sectors such as oil & gas, food & agriculture and transport. There are recommendations on finance and creating a stable environment for businesses to invest, as well as outlining what is required for individual engagement, local, regional and international.

Not everyone will agree with Mission Zero’s recommendations.

I would love to know your thought about the review. If you do have any thoughts, please email me or find me on LinkedIn.