UK Launches Net Zero Commitment Review

The UK government has officially started a review of its plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The review, led by former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) minister Chris Skidmore, will run for three months and focus on “assessing which pathway to net zero will bear the greatest economic benefits”. BEIS has said it will examine which net zero emission reduction approaches are the most “pro-business, pro-growth and economically efficient”, as well as evaluating the economic costs and benefits of emerging technologies deemed “necessary to the transition”. While BEIS has stated the UK’s legally-binding 2050 net zero target will remain, it has also made clear its intention to ensure continued investment to “increase energy security”. The department has said the government’s Net Zero Strategy will need to be updated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused unforeseen “major changes to the economic and political landscape”. The British high court ruled the UK’s current Net Zero Strategy is “unlawful” as it does not detail measures “significant to decarbonise any sector of the economy” in line with the UK’s 2050 target. The court ruled in July the strategy needs to be “refined and re-issued” by March 2023. Chris Skidmore said: ”I want to ensure that net zero isn’t just viewed as the right thing to do for our environment – but becomes an essential driver of economic growth”. The UK government has also updated its nationally defined contribution to the goals of the Paris Agreement, but it contains no new commitments, only featuring further details on current commitments.  

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