CBI Economics alongside the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) have released a report stating that almost 20,000 UK businesses are operating within the net zero economy, contributing £71 billion a year to the UK economy’s gross value.
The report Mapping the net zero economy quantifies the value of the UK’s transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy and follows the recent Chris Skidmore MP review into the UK’s net zero prospects.
A crucial aspect defined within the CBI report is the total gross value that has been added by businesses. This amounts to around £71 billion and is more than twice the amount of the energy sector itself, the report stated.
This supports some of the claims in the Skidmore review offering further analysis and evidence to the UK’s net zero prospects. One of the major aspects highlighted within the Net Zero Review publication was the economic opportunity and growth the UK could witness should it create a healthy environment for sustainable technologies.
The review states that “net zero is the economic opportunity of the 21st century” and should be actively pursued to increase the prosperity of the UK. This could open up various crucial areas of development across the nation, including the creation of green jobs and supporting neighbouring countries in their own net zero ambitions.
Simon Clarke, member of parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and former secretary of state for Levelling Up, made reference to the opportunities located within the UK net zero economy in a webinar unveiling the report.
“The report is very important and a reminder that net zero is central to the UK economy going forward. There is a false belief of tension between net zero and economic growth – it is the opposite. For instance, the green economy is currently powering Teesside economic restoration by providing new services and new green jobs,” said Clarke.
“We need politicians of all colours and tiers of government to support net zero – it is the key for future prosperity and we need policy to match this ambition,” Clarke said.
The report highlighted that the energy and construction sectors in particular saw the highest growth of economic opportunities in net zero.
Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, said at the report launch: “Net zero and renewables present ways to make the entire energy system very efficient and cheaper, and this can be used in the regions and help in levelling up. Much like the oil and gas assets in the North Sea that helped develop Aberdeen, the same can happen to other areas of the UK with renewables.”
“We need to really speed up planning and consent for renewables and for network connections. It takes around 12 years to build a wind farm in this country, when it should take one. We need financing for new technologies like we had for offshore wind,” Pinchbeck added.