Former energy minister launches net-zero review

Former energy minister Chris Skidmore has launched an independent review of net zero delivery by 2050.

The government said the review will "ensure delivery of legally binding climate goals are pro-growth and pro- business".

It said the target to reach net zero by 2050 remains in place, but that it wanted to ensure the commitment is met in an "economically efficient way". The new business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg commissioned the review.

It comes a year after the government published its Net Zero Strategy, setting out an overarching approach to carbon neutrality.

But the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says changes in the economic and political landscape meant that it needed to reconsider how the net zero target is delivered. It cites the war in Ukraine, high energy prices and high inflation as factors affecting the delivery of the strategy.

The report will also examine how to maximise the economic opportunities the target presents, and how to increase innovation, investment, exports and jobs. And it will look at what the economic costs and benefits are associated with new and emerging policies and technologies.

As part of the review, Skidmore will consult with consumers, investors, industrial leaders and experts in various fields, including energy, land use and transport. He will report to the government with a set of recommendations by the end of this year.

Skidmore said: "This review seeks to 'double down' on how we can ensure that our energy transition happens at the same time as maximising the economic opportunity for businesses and households across the country, providing huge opportunities for innovation, investment, exports and jobs. 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."

Rees-Mogg said: "The government remains committed to reaching our net-zero emissions targets. But with Russia weaponising energy across Europe we must make sure we do so in a way that increases energy security and does not place undue burdens on businesses or consumers.

"Chris Skidmore's rapid review will help us identify how best to make that happen, while also ensuring all parts of the UK reap the economic benefits of tackling climate change that I have no doubt will be on offer."

This article originally appeared on Construction Manager

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