Net zero and nature restoration are the only vehicles for sustainable economic growth


In response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spring Budget, Signe Norberg, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at the Aldersgate Group, said: “With the welcome news that the economy is forecast to grow, it is vital that the UK Government uses this opportunity to secure sustainable, long-term economic growth by ensuring the country can take advantage of the economic opportunity presented by the transition to net zero. This must include investment in renewable energy to bring down consumer bills, support wider industrial decarbonisation, and generate reliable, low carbon energy. Funding for carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and the extension of the Climate Change Agreement scheme are welcome in this regard, but these commitments need to be further underpinned by a wider policy response, which drives investment towards low carbon and nature solutions and decarbonises the UK power sector by 2035.”

Signe Norberg added: “The UK Government must capture the opportunity offered by the Net Zero Strategy refresh and the response to the independent review into net zero, to urgently tackle some of the policy barriers which remain in areas such as planning, grid infrastructure and land use. The UK will need an economy-wide industrial strategy which focuses on driving industrial decarbonisation and developing new green industries that will position it as a world leader. The forthcoming update to the Green Finance Strategy should also deliver on the UK’s commitment to an ambitious green taxonomy that unlocks private investment in low carbon technologies and services and provides businesses with the certainty and confidence they need to invest.”

Signe Norberg concluded: “To maximise these benefits, it is critical to secure a comprehensive approach to skills development. The introduction of a Returnership scheme can support these efforts, but must be supported by additional measures to embed climate and nature sustainability in the curriculum, and provide further support for the current and future workforce. Ultimately, the Budget commitments today must work hand-in-hand with policy measures across the Government to deliver on net zero and nature restoration.”