An update to the Clean Growth Strategy outlining policy for net zero is needed, the Aldersgate Group has said.
The group, a collection of some of the UK’s largest businesses, today released a new manifesto calling for the government to create ‘ambitious and stable’ policies to accelerate emission reductions across the economy.
Chiefly among the recommendations is the introduction of a ‘Clean Growth Strategy Plus’ (CGS+) that delivers an increase in ambition, matching the UK’s net zero target.
The government should aim to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets – which it is currently not on track to meet – or even aim to exceed them, the Aldersgate Group said. Methods to do this should be put forward in the CGS+.
The Aldersgate Group’s recommendations build on its ‘Zeroing In’ report, published in April, that laid out a series of suggestions for policies to meet net zero.
Decarbonisation of the power sector should be completed, with a route to market created for mature renewable technologies. In the short term, this would be through the Contracts for Difference auctions and in the medium term, the establishment of a market for zero carbon tradeable electricity contracts.
Storage capacity should be increased, as well as a greater use of demand-side response to facilitate increased deployment of renewables.
Priority should be given to decarbonising surface transport through the development of an integrated strategy, bringing together road and rail. The phase-out date for the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles should be brought forward to 2030, plug-in car grants should continue until upfront cost parity is reached – a recommendation The Aldersgate Group has made previously – and tighter emissions standards should be introduced throughout the 2020s.
The government should also continue to support investment in charging infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.
Nick Molho, executive director at the Aldersgate Group, said the “time is now” for the government to focus on delivering net zero.
“If the UK is to attract the large volume of affordable private sector investment required to deliver its environmental and climate ambitions and strengthen its competitive advantage in these fast growing areas of the global economy, Boris Johnson’s government needs to rapidly flesh out a plan of action for the decade ahead to put the UK on track for achieving net zero emissions,” Molho continued.