UK Government Net Zero Strategy

The UK’s Government’s Net Zero Strategy was published in October 2021. Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Lead Commissioner Policy and Strategy, Ben Odoms, shares his overview of the strategy’s contents.

The Net Zero Strategy provides an extensive overview of how the Government believes it can achieve its target of Net Zero. The first notable insight is that the Net Zero target is closely linked with the wider agenda of “Levelling Up”. This highlights the alignment between building a green economy with the regeneration of local areas that includes new opportunities for regional and local economies to spur innovation. This recognises that the decarbonisation of heating (reducing the use of gas) will mean a likely increase in demand for electricity by the alternatives that are needed.

The strategy then looks at how Net Zero can be reached through seven distinct areas:

  • power
  • fuel supply (including hydrogen)
  • industry
  • heat and buildings
  • transport
  • natural resources (including waste and F-gases)
  • greenhouse gas removal

 For each area, the strategy presents different scenarios which show the likely effect of increases in demand. These give an idea of the changes required and the impact on the number and type of jobs.

The final major section of the report looks at how the transition to Net Zero will be reflected in the economy. This includes analysis of innovation and financing as well as green jobs and skills.

Of particular interest to us is the section on local climate action, which address the role of local government in achieving Net Zero. It summarises the commitments and schemes that central Government is making to enable local approaches to succeed, such as local energy, heat and buildings, local transport and local green infrastructure.

Whilst the entire strategy intersects with a variety of other government policy areas including innovation, skills and investment, the importance of local government in supporting the Net Zero delivery is also apparent throughout the strategy.

Though there is more work to be done to clarify the role of local authorities in delivering on the strategy and there is no reference to creating a specific statutory role for them, the expectation is that local expertise, resources and capability to deliver a Net Zero target are squarely within the remit of local government.


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