LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s leading business group has called on the government to implement green measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and bring forward policies to enable to country to meet its climate targets.
Britain last year set a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 but its economy is suffering from the effects of measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Britain’s economy saw sharpest second-quarter fall of any Group of Seven nation in the April-June period.
“To ensure that the 2020s continue to be a decade of delivery on net zero there needs to be step-change in the pace of investment, supported by government,” the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said in its Green Economic Recovery Roadmap published on Monday.
The CBI called on government to accelerate the delivery of electric vehicle charging points, pledge at least 1 billion pounds ($1.28 billion) to fund hydrogen testing programmes and create jobs by setting up schemes to make homes more energy efficient.
It also said the government should publish its Energy White Paper and National Infrastructure strategies to foster investment in new projects and introduce a financing model to encourage investment in new nuclear plants.
The country should strive to become a world leader in carbon capture utilisation and storage technology and create an Office for Sustainable Aviation Fuels.
The CBI also said Britain must show leadership on climate change ahead of hosting next year’s international climate talks, COP 26.
“The timing of COP 26 next year represents a clear deadline for a national net-zero strategy to be in place,” it said.
Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by David Evans