Net zero and nature offer a route out of crisis for the new Prime Minister


Reacting to the confirmation that Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “We wish Mrs Truss much success as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Mrs Truss’ first priority upon entering office will be to tackle the energy security and cost of living crises. In addition to an emergency package to offer immediate support to consumers, the best way to do this is to rapidly lower the UK’s dependence on volatile fossil fuels, by accelerating the roll out of low-cost renewable technologies such as offshore wind, investing in the UK’s power grid infrastructure and overseeing a much-needed mass insulation programme to upgrade UK’s leaky housing stock. This needs to happen hand in hand with electricity market reform to decouple gas and electricity prices and ensure that the falling costs of renewable generation are reflected in lower bills.”

Nick Molho added: “Throughout her campaign, Mrs Truss stressed the importance of tackling economic stagnation and reinvigorating the UK economy. The business community represented by the Aldersgate Group is clear that the ambitious climate and environmental policies needed to achieve net zero emissions are also essential to drive economic prosperity, create jobs in locations across the country and secure export opportunities for innovative UK industries. Improving the energy efficiency fabric of every building in the country in need of retrofit would create 30,000 new jobs a year between 2025 and 2030 [1] and continuing to invest in offshore wind could see the sector grow from 26,000 jobs today in areas like the Humber and the Solent to 70,000 jobs by 2026 [2]. Globally, the UK’s green hydrogen exports from offshore wind could reach £48bn annually with potential for £200bn of gross value added (GVA) and the creation of up to 120,000 jobs from the production of green hydrogen and export of electrolysers to overseas markets [3].”

Nick Molho concluded: “At a time when the UK is having to adjust to increasingly frequent extreme weather events as evidenced by the drought over the summer, it is essential that the new PM continues to progress efforts to restore nature and make our environment more resilient to climate impacts. This will require the rapid finalisation of ambitious targets under the Environment Act and putting in place a new ambitious Environment Improvement Plan by the start of 2023.”

[1] Construction Industry Training Board [CITB] (2021), Building skills for net zero
[2] Offshore Wind Industry Council [OWIC] (2021), Offshore Wind Skills Intelligence Model Report
[3] Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult [OREC] (2021), Accelerating a UK Hydrogen Economy