Make more effort to reach net zero goals, industry leaders tell Truss

by: Building

More than 30 chief executives of firms working in the built environment sector have urged Liz Truss to push harder to achieve the government’s net zero targets. 

Bosses from Bam, CBRE, Arup, Clarion, British Land and Atkins are among the signatories of a letter urging the new prime minister to “strengthen delivery mechanisms across the whole of government” for carbon cutting objectives.

The intervention comes less than two weeks after Truss announced plans to tackle the crisis of soaring energy bills with measures that included the issuing of more than 100 new licences for oil and gas exploration and a lifting of the ban on fracking.

A total of 116 chief executives from across the economy signed the letter, representing a combined 425,000 employees and a market capitalisation of £1.8 trillion.

The letter says: “As leading UK businesses and financial institutions from across the economy, we are committed to protecting and restoring nature and delivering a net zero economy in support of the UK’s targets. 

“For us to play our part, we need a robust plan from government on how to deliver these targets, both in the short and long term. 

“This will require delivery mechanisms to be strengthened across the whole of government, including in areas such as planning, building regulations and agriculture.”

The letter adds that a comprehensive package of support to make homes and businesses more energy efficient, and a strategy to decarbonise industry, could improve domestic energy security, shield the UK from global fuel price volatility and achieve net zero promises.

“Acting now to accelerate the energy transition, could both support UK households with the cost of living and deliver huge economic benefits, unlocking opportunities for the UK to be a leader in clean growth,” the letter argues.

Truss’s energy support package announced two weeks ago would see the government borrow an estimated £150bn – more than twice the cost of the covid-19 furlough scheme – to keep energy bills at around £2,500 for the average UK household.

The package will also see the temporary removal of green levies, namely taxes added to energy bills which are used to pay for sustainability initiatives such as renewable energy.

Support for businesses, which was outlined in more detail this morning, will consist of capping the wholesale price of electricity at £211 per MWh and gas at £75 per MWh, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter.

The scheme will run for an initial six months, with a review after three months to help the government identify vulnerable users and determine how they should be supported when the scheme comes to an end in March.

Ringley were signatories of the letter.


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