“There can be no doubt about where the future of our economy is heading. The whole world is racing to decarbonize. It’s just a case of how quickly we can get there and how we can make sure that society benefits from that transition,” opened Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden CBE MP speaking at Innovation Zero today (24 May).
Citing research by the business management consultancy, McKinsey, Dowden said that net zero goods and services could contribute £1 trillion to UK businesses by 2030.
Unlocking this “huge prize to be won”, continued Dowden, will require “unprecedented levels of investments” of an additional £50 to £60 billion each year through the coming decades and continued “pitching the UK as a land of green opportunities.”
“The good news is we really are off to an incredibly strong start,” added Dowden.
“We’ve already committed to policies and ambitions that will leverage around £100 billion of private investment. That is money that will finance new industries and innovative low carbon technologies and which in turn is expected to support up to 480,000 green jobs by 2030.
“We’re working hard in a host of other ways to ensure that the UK is in a winning position with a winning proposition for investments. We’re developing a strong green industrial base across the country, in tribute to our rich manufacturing and engineering heritage.”
Speaking at a separate panel on ‘The Future of the UK’s Net Zero Pathway” however, Chris Skidmore MP questioned whether the UK was sending the right signals internationally regarding its position on climate change.
“We have this opportunity to send a signal to international climate change. I still feel that opening a coal mine in Cumbria sends absolutely the wrong international signal and totally undermines the UK’s climate leadership for the future,” said Skidmore.
“I see this as something that is potentially so disastrous for UK climate leadership. So potentially, in the here and now, that is an immediate decision that should be stopped.”
When asked whether the decision to open the Cumbria coal mine angered him Skidmore replied:
“What I tried to do with the Net Zero Review is take that rational, evidence based approach to those who often want to make you think that you’re emotional, who often want to put you in a box and say that net zero is a crazy eco project. I didn’t want to lose the legitimacy of demonstrating that this transition can be done, that it’s reasonable, and that it’s a reality that needs to happen.”