It may have taken sometime but at last the UK Government has revealed its Net Zero strategy to cut the country’s carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 and to net zero by 2050. In the lead up to COP26 it will give Ministers the opportunity to portray the UK as one of the leading lights when it comes to tackling climate change, but when the dust settles, after the flurry of announcements, will the plan add up or will it fall short?
Much of what has been announced is welcome but it still leaves a number of unanswered questions, as to how the programme will be funded and a concern that yet again local government’s ability to play a key role in delivering such an important policy agenda, has been underplayed.
Whilst the strategy recognises that local government has a key role to play, its not clear as to what Government thinks this role is. What additional powers councils will receive! And, most importantly, whether any additional funding will come through the system to support delivery on the ground.
Connecting the route map to that outlined by the UK Committee on Climate Change, in its sixth carbon budget, is most definitely the correct approach to take - something that we at APSE have argued for over the past few years. Many councils have already forged ahead and focused their own strategies to meet their net zero declarations using this methodology, so perhaps we are really starting to see the beginning of some much needed joined up thinking at a national and local policy level.