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BP and EnBW are the latest energy giants to confirm they are bidding for latest round of ScotWind seabed leases. The competition to develop the next wave of Scottish offshore wind farms has continued to intensify, after BP and EnBW today confirmed they had submitted their bid for the ScotWind leasing round. The consortium said it has applied for a lease area off the east coast of Scotland that could support offshore wind projects with 2.9GW generating capacity. But the firms stressed the bid proposal extended far beyond the proposed new offshore wind farm itself, and would incorporate a raft of related infrastructure as part of a £10bn green infrastructure project, including ports, harbours and shipyards, green hydrogen facilities and an of Scotland’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The competition for the next round of seabed leases looks set to be fierce, with BP’s announcement following plans late last week from Shell and ScottishPower for a major new floating offshore wind farm, while RWE similarly confirmed it would be participating in the leasing round. Vattenfall, TotalEnergies, and Orsted are also among those expected to bid for seabed leases, as part of a round that could deliver up to 10GW of new capacity.

Business Green 19th July 2021 read more »

Storm of submissions to ScotWind leasing round. Nearly two dozen companies have now confirmed they have submitted bids to the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round. The consortia they have formed include most of Europe’s largest oil companies, with a significant proportion making proposals for floating offshore windfarms, either explicitly or implicitly. Utility Week presents a round-up of the various announcements.

Utility Week 19th July 2021 read more »

Bids flood in for offshore wind farms in Scottish waters. New floating wind farms could be built in Scottish coastal waters as the country moves to increase the amount of green energy produced offshore. Dozens of energy firms from across the world have now submitted proposals to Crown Estate Scotland, which has set out a number of development opportunities as part of its ScotWind leasing round.

Scotsman 19th July 2021 read more »

Energy firm Equinor has bid for a new floating offshore wind farm to be built off the coast of Scotland as it continues to develop its North Sea energy facilities.

Engineering & Technology 19th July 2021 read more »

BP has underlined the value of windfarm acreage off Scotland after submitting a bid for licences which it said could unlock £10 billion investment in areas ranging from hydrogen fuel plants to shipyards. The prediction comes amid strong interest in the ScotWind licensing round from other oil and gas giants including Equinor, which confirmed yesterday that it has made an application. Royal Dutch Shell and ScottishPower submitted joint bids for licences on Friday, the deadline for applications.

Herald 20th July 2021 read more »

BP is promising £10 billion of investment and to make Britain’s oil capital its global hub for offshore wind if it is successful in securing seabed licences around Scotland. The company is teaming up with EnBW, a German utility group, to bid to install turbines with 2.9 gigawatts of capacity in Scottish waters. Aberdeen appears to be the big beneficiary if the application in the Scotwind auction, which is being run by Crown Estate Scotland, is successful.

Times 20th July 2021 read more »

Times 19th July 2021 read more »


Prysmian Group eyes net-zero emissions between 2035 and 2040

The world’s largest supplier of cables to the energy and telecoms sectors, Prysmian Group, has pledged to reach net-zero for its global operations between 2035 and 2040, and a net-zero global value chain by 2050.

Image: Prysmian Group

Image: Prysmian Group

The commitments form part of a new ‘Climate Ambition’ and ‘Social Ambition’ frameworks that also include commitments on digital inclusion, community empowerment and the skills pipeline.

On the ‘Climate Ambition’, the headline commitment is to net-zero direct (Scope 1) and power-related (Scope 2) emissions between 2035 and 2040. The exact deadline will be finalised through the development of science-based targets aligned with 1.5C. The Carbon Trust is the Group’s chosen partner for developing and delivering against carbon targets.

Whichever deadline is chosen, Prysmian Group’s ambition for a net-zero value chain, covering Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, has a 2050 deadline. The Group operates globally; its largest market in terms of sales is the EMEA region, followed by North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

In the short term, the company is aiming to generate 50% of revenue from products, systems and services that enable the low-carbon transition in the industries it serves, up from 48% in 2020. Key products include new submarine and underground power interconnections for offshore wind farms. Prysmian Group has also pledged to allocate at least 50% of its total investments through to 2022 to sustainability-related initiatives. This will represent some €450m of funding.

The announcement on net-zero comes after the Group committed, last year, to begin reporting on climate risk in line with the Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations from 2022.

Just transition

The ‘Social Ambition’ framework has been published in tandem with Prysmian Group’s new emissions goals.

Commitments with 2030 deadlines include ensuring that at least 30% of the senior leadership roles are held by women; hiring at least 500 new female members of staff with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) backgrounds and delivering local mentoring plans to at least 500 students from marginalised backgrounds.

There are also ambitions to ensure that every employee receives 40 hours of paid learning each year and that at least 50% of employees become shareholders in the company.

Prysmian Group’s chief sustainability officer Maria Christina Bifulco said: “Just as we want to play an active role in the energy transition, we want to actively promote the transition towards a more equal, diverse, inclusive and enriched working environment and to positively impact on the development of the communities and societies in which we operate.

“Our investors are increasingly focused on the social aspect of ESG.”

At edie’s Sustainable Investment Conference last week, expert speakers from EY, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Citi debated how the definition of leadership in relation to ESG investing is evolving. You can read our write-up of their key takeaways here.

Building on that discussion, Aviva Investors’ chief responsible investment officer Steve Waygood 9 outlining how investors can go beyond championing ESG in their operations and portfolios, becoming “macro stewards” on the pressing issues of our time such as the climate crisis.

Sarah George


Net-zero investment portfolios promised by 14 major UK pension funds

The chairs of corporate pension funds including Tesco, Unilever, BT and Pennon are among the signatories of a new commitment to halve portfolio emissions by 2030 and bring them to net-zero by 2050.

The UK's pensions sector covers some £3trn of investment and while large schemes are required to measure and disclose climate risks, net-zero transition plans are not yet mandatory

The UK’s pensions sector covers some £3trn of investment and while large schemes are required to measure and disclose climate risks, net-zero transition plans are not yet mandatory

Signatories of the commitment, led by the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) initiative, collectively manage almost £268bn in assets, and it is hoped that dozens more names will sign on ahead of COP26 in November.

The commitment is called the ‘Net-Zero Statement of Support’. It commits supporters to announcing net-zero targets within 12 months of signing on, supported by 1.5C-aligned interim goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recommended that global net emissions are halved by 2030, so many firms will be making commitments along this line of thought.

Also included in the Statement of Support are commitments to “be an active shareholder across all relevant asset classes”, “collaborate with peers to innovate ways to bring influence to bear in the interest of our members” and “understand climate risk in a holistic manner, managing these risk factors within our investment portfolios”.

The 14 initial supporters of the Statement of Support are the BT Pension Scheme; HSBC Bank Pension Trust UK; Barclays UK Retirement Fund; Brunel Pension Partnership; the Tesco Pension Scheme; the Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA); the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest); the South Yorkshire Pension Fund; the Unilever UK Pension Fund; the Environment Agency Pension Fund; the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund; the Atos UK 2019 Pensions Scheme; the Pennon Group Pensions Scheme and Scottish Widows Master Trust.

Several of these organisations have already announced net-zero targets.

Nest, for example, outlined a roadmap to net-zero last year, including a commitment to remove thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling from its portfolios by 2025. Net-zero targets have also been announced by the likes of the Brunel Pension Partnership, the BT Pension Scheme, the Environment Agency Pension Scheme and Scottish Widows.

For these firms, key aims of participating in A4S’s commitment will be sharing experiences and practices with other members and encouraging other schemes globally to follow suit.

“Pension schemes are highly exposed to the risks of an unsustainable future, but also powerfully positioned to influence a sustainable outcome,” A4S’s executive chairman Jessica Fries said.

“The pension fund chairs who are signing our Net Zero Statement of Support are committing to address the risks of climate change and invest in a resilient, sustainable future. A4S will be supporting this commitment through our practical guidance.”

Galvanising individual action

The announcement from A4S comes in the same week that Make My Money Matter  – the organisation set up by Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis in a bid to press all UK pension funds to align with climate science – published new research on the contribution of pensions to an individual’s carbon footprint.

Compiled in partnership with Aviva and Route2, the research claims that the average UK adult can reduce their annual carbon footprint by 19 tonnes by shifting to a “greener” pension. This reduction is 21 times higher than the reduction that could be achieved by going vegetarian, taking no flights and switching to renewable electricity in the home.

“Make My Money Matter believes it is vital that individuals continue to take these steps to reduce their climate impact, but also make sure their money complements those efforts, rather than undermine them,” the organisation said in a statement.

Curtis added: “We need the entire UK pensions industry to go green – making their default funds more sustainable so all savers can have a pension to be proud of. As individuals, we have a critical role to play in driving this change by showing providers that we want our money invested in a way that does good, not harm, so that we can retire into a world that isn’t on fire. “

The research is forming part of the communications campaign around a new initiative, called the ‘21x Challenge’, whereby individuals are being asked to challenge their pension provider to increase their climate commitments.

Sarah George


Inditex and Elsevier commit to net-zero emissions by 2040

Clothing giant Inditex and research publishing firm Elsevier are the latest corporates to have updated their corporate strategies, setting ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 at the latest.

Both businesses are aiming for net-zero by 2040 at the latest

Both businesses are aiming for net-zero by 2040 at the latest

In 2018, 31 big-name fashion brands signed a United Nations (UN) charter outlining steps the global fashion sector must take to limit the global temperature increase below 2C. Inditex was one of the signatories to the charter, which is aligned with the aims of the Paris Agreement and sets a roadmap towards carbon neutrality by 2050 – the date by which the UN believes it is possible to fully decarbonise the global fashion sector.

The charter set 16 key principles for signatories, including a clause requiring participating businesses to reduce their overall carbon footprint by 30% by 2030.

But, with research from McKinsey and the Global Fashion Agenda warning that the fashion sector will emit double its Paris Agreement limit by 2030, Inditex is stepping up its climate efforts.

The company, which owns brands such as Zara and Pull&Bear, is bringing forward its net-zero emissions target forward 10 years to 2040, as well as ramping up other sustainability targets. The acceleration of these targets was due to Inditex meeting several sustainability aims.

Currently, around 35% of the Group’s garments featured the Join Life label, which highlights how more sustainable processes and raw materials were used – surpassing a 25% target set for 2020. Additionally, a target to procure 65% of its energy from renewables was surpassed, with the company reaching 80%. The use of more sustainable cotton also increased by 91%.

As such, Inditex has introduced new sustainability targets. As well as moving the net-zero target to 2040, all energy in its direct operations will come from renewable sources in 2022, compared to a previous target of 80% by 2025. More than 50% of garments will be Join Life by 2022 and, as a new objective, Inditex aims to cut by 25% the water used on the whole supply chain by 2025.

Inditex’s chief executive Pablo Isla celebrated “the strength of Inditex’s integrated, digital and sustainable model, thanks to the work and commitment of every employee”.


In related news, publishing firm Elsevier has signed the Climate Pledge, along with parent company Relx, to reach net-zero by 2040.

Elsevier, which claims it was operating as a net-zero business across direct emissions (Scope 1 and 2) and business travel, will now aim to decarbonise the rest of its Scope 3 emissions by 2040 at the latest.

To reach this target, Elsevier has set a target to reduce emissions from business travel by a further 50% by 2025 against a 2019 baseline, which will save around 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The company will also set up a climate action programme for suppliers and will form a Climate Advisory Board of distinguished research experts to identify ways to decarbonise.

Elsevier’s chief executive Kumsal Bayazit said: “The scientific consensus is clear, climate change is happening and we all have the responsibility to make the future sustainable for our planet. At Elsevier, we are already net-zero for our own direct emissions and by signing the climate pledge I am confident we can rise to the challenge and accelerate the action needed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.”

Matt Mace


Water sector unveils £2.7bn green recovery framework

The water sector has unveiled a new green recovery framework that will funnel £2.7bn into initiatives that reduce flood risk, improve water quality and cut emissions on the road to net-zero.

The green recovery package will enable the sector to tackle an array of environmental issues

The green recovery package will enable the sector to tackle an array of environmental issues

Water companies Severn Trent Water, South Staffs Water, South West Water, Thames Water and United Utilities will invest more than £790m, on top of their existing five-year PR19 packages, while seven other English water firms will funnel £1.9bn in additional statutory environment schemes by 2025.

In total, the water sector will invest £2.7bn as part of a green recovery framework.

Ofwat, in collaboration with Defra, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, and CCW have approved the new package.

Ofwat’s interim chief executive David Black said: “This huge package of investment will help the environment while providing a significant economic stimulus and offer thousands of extra jobs and training opportunities – delivering a boost when it’s needed most.

“I look forward to seeing the companies delivering on this ambition and bringing forward lasting environmental improvements for current and future generations.”

The green recovery package will enable the sector to tackle an array of environmental issues. Severn Trent Water, for example, will invest £169m to make improvements to water quality in 500km of rivers, while also working with South West Water and United Utilities to trial two new bathing rivers and reducing damage from storm overflows. Severn Trent Water will also work with local authorities to reduce flooding through new management plans and urban landscape solutions.

The water firms will also aim to introduce low-carbon methods to treating drinking water, which could also reduce reliance on chemicals use. The organisations will also expand smart metering programmes to help around 450,000 better manage their water usage.

Late last year, the UK’s major water companies unveiled a routemap detailing how solar installations, electric vehicles (EVs) and biomethane production will enable the sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.

The UK’s nine major water and sewerage providers, including Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water and United Utilities will use the Routemap to create a net-zero water supply for customers, in a move that could reduce sectoral emissions by more than 10 million tonnes.

The Routemap estimates a potential investment of up to £4bn, based on currently available technologies.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “This package of investment will be vital in driving forward our green recovery. Water companies must step up and deliver on the most pressing issues facing our environment – including water quality. I am particularly pleased to see the increase in funding to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows following a call to action from the Storm Overflows Taskforce.

“I look forward to seeing these schemes bring about lasting improvements, alongside the measures being taken by Government through a range of vehicles including the Environment Bill, as we build back greener from the pandemic.”

Matt Mace


Heat Networks

This site’s Daily News content is provided by Edinburgh Energy & Environment Consultancy. EEE are experts in policy and analysis on energy and environment issues, particularly nuclear power.

Services include: supplying tailored news services, writing reports and briefings, drafting consultation responses and developing political campaign strategies.

Clients have included Greenpeace, Nuclear Free Local Authorities, WWF Scotland and the UK Government’s Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.


SBTi to increase minimum target-setting requirements to 1.5C

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is updating its strategic approach to increase the minimum ambition for corporate climate action from “well below 2C” to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as envisioned by the Paris Agreement.

More than 600 companies globally have committed to 1.5C targets

More than 600 companies globally have committed to 1.5C targets

When the SBTi was introduced in 2015 as a nascent movement for corporate sustainability, it encouraged businesses to set targets in line with the Paris Agreement pathways, namely 2C, “well below” 2C and 1.5C trajectories.

Six years on, the movement now covers nearly 20% of the global economy. To reflect on the need to combat the climate crisis in line with the 1.5C limit, the initiative is updating its target validation criteria.

The SBTi’s board chair and chief of programmes at UN Global Compact Lila Karbassi said: “The SBTi has become the de facto standard for businesses to set credible targets to address the climate crisis. However, to have a fighting chance of limiting warming to 1.5C, we need to urgently scale-up and mainstream the adoption of 1.5C-aligned targets.

“This strategy enables us to consistently provide businesses across the globe with the most robust target-setting framework so that companies can confidently align with climate science.”

Between 2015 and 2020, companies with validated targets cut emissions by 25% compared with an increase of 3.4% in global energy and industrial emissions. In fact, 1.5C-aligned targets accounted for 66% of all submissions to the SBTi in 2021.

In total, more than 600 companies globally have committed to 1.5C targets through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5C since its launch in 2019. These companies represent $13trn in market capitalisation.

As part of the new strategy, “well below” 2C targets will be phased out from the validation framework. Any corporate that had targets approved in 2020 or earlier has until 2025 to update targets.

All companies and financial institutions that submit targets from 15 July 2022 will need to align to the new criteria. A particular focus will be given to companies in high-emitting sectors and across G20 countries.

The SBTi will set up a new independent technical decision-making body to oversee key decisions, such as scenario selection, target-setting methods and approval of future SBTi standards.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, a co-founder of the SBTi, has been appointed as managing director of this new body.

“Covid-19 and climate breakdown are the two biggest challenges facing life as we know it,” Pineda said. “We can’t solve either without widespread global action. For Covid-19, it’s vaccination of people. For the climate, it’s decarbonisation of our economies. We need every company to play their part, and set science-based 1.5C-aligned emission reduction targets to help us halve global emissions in the next eight years.”

Matt Mace


Net-zero by 2045: Go-Ahead Group launches updated climate strategy

Public transport giant Go-Ahead Group has launched a new climate strategy headlined by commitments to cut emissions by 75% by 2035 and bring them to net-zero by 2045.

Image: Go-Ahead Group

Image: Go-Ahead Group

Go-Ahead Group has already delivered a 22% reduction in its absolute carbon emissions since 2016 – an achievement that led to the firm receiving a CDP ‘A-List’ rating.  But the firm’s chief strategy and customer officer Katy Taylor said that delivering against the new commitments will be “no small task” and will “impact all areas of the business”.

Major changes set to be delivered as part of the plan include transitioning to a fully electric and hydrogen fleet of buses and trains across the UK by 2035.

Go-Ahead Group operates 5,000 buses and claims to have the largest electric bus fleet of any UK-based public transport operator. It already has two all-electric bus depots, in Waterloo and Northumberland Park respectively. On trains, the firm is similarly the UK’s largest operator of electric trains but does not disclose how many diesel trains it also operates.

There are also commitments to deliver net-zero properties and to replace all vehicles in the ancillary fleet with zero-emission alternatives by 2035. For some more specialist vehicles, Go-Ahead Group said in a statement, alternative technologies are not yet mature.

The emissions mitigation targets do not, at present, cover Scope 3 (indirect) sources. Go-Ahead has pledged to develop targets for upstream and downstream emissions, which collectively account for some 40% of its overall footprint, as a priority.

There will also be further measures to “embed” the climate strategy into business protocols announced in the coming months, including “responsibilities and ownership mechanisms”.

Aside from reducing emissions from Go-Ahead Group’s fleets and properties, the updated climate strategy details targets to cut air pollution; reduce water use by 25% by 2025; increase the firm’s recycling rate to 60% and improve climate adaptation efforts.

This latter point comes shortly after the Climate Change Committee (CCC) warned that climate risks to the UK are increasing in number and magnitude more rapidly than expected, with billions of pounds worth of infrastructure at risk through to 2050.

Go-Ahead Group has already begun the process of measuring and reporting climate risks in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD), ahead of a legal mandate to do so, being implemented in either 2022 or 2023 by the UK Government. Its next steps will be quantifying the cost of adaptation and sourcing funding in order to build the business case for adaptation measures, as well as working with suppliers to help them identify and reduce their own risks.

“The journey we are embarking on requires a great deal of collaboration – with governments, with partners and with suppliers,” Go-Ahead Group’s chief executive David Brown said. “We will work together to ensure a sustainable world for future generations.”

Transport Decarbonisation Plan

The launch of Go-Ahead Group’s new climate strategy has come as the Government is unveiling its long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan. This framework was originally due out in late 2020 but has been delayed due to Covid-19, and, allegedly, criticisms over the initial measures and targets not being ambitious enough to align with net-zero by 2050.

There are commitments to end the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses by 2040, subject to consultation; to electrify the Government’s own fleet by 2027 and to accelerate spending on public transport and active travel. Also detailed are plans to bring the aviation sector’s emissions to net-zero by 2050 without capping growth, with an ambition to enshrine an earlier 2040 target in law for domestic aviation and airport buildings and operations in England.

You can read edie’s initial news story covering the Plan’s publication for more information on what is included.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has not yet published the full document for the Plan. However, in the media information provided by the Department, details on decarbonizing buses were sparse. The only mention was of the National Bus Strategy, which is currently under consultation. That Strategy will mandate an end-date for the sale of petrol and diesel buses but the timeline is to be confirmed.

Join the conversation at edie’s Clean Energy & Transport Forum

On Thursday, July 15, edie is hosting its first Clean Energy and Transport Forum

Linking to the two key COP26 themes of Clean Energy and Clean Transport, this brand new virtual conference will explore what it will take to deliver the net-zero transition in these key sectors.

The Department for Transport’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Rachel Maclean has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers, alongside Energy Institute chief executive Nick Wayth; The Climate Group chief executive Helen Clarkson and Innovate UK senior Innovation lead Harsh Pershad.

Click here for a full agenda and to register for the Clean Energy and Transport Forum. 

Sarah George



Decentralised “virtual power plants” have the potential both to lower power costs for consumers and to reduce the need for expensive upgrades to electricity grids, according to companies in the sector. Combining home-installed electricity storage systems with rooftop solar panels can reduce the need for extra grid spending, since software algorithms can determine the best time to charge and discharge the batteries, reducing strain on the grid, according to UK start-up Moixa. “We can substitute intelligence for grid spending,” says Chris Wright, Moixa co-founder. “You can enable the flexibility that’s needed by rolling on more renewables on to the grid. The best way to do that is to leverage assets that are going on to the grid anyway and add intelligence.”

FT 14th July 2021 read more »


Give UK local authorities new powers to accelerate net-zero transition, Mayors urge Government

More than 30 mayors and council leaders from across the UK have co-signed a new communique urging the Government to grant them additional funding and powers to transition to net-zero across sectors including energy, transport and the built environment.

Pictured: Chamberlain Square in Birmingham. Mayor Andy Street is one of the communique's 32 signatories. 

Pictured: Chamberlain Square in Birmingham. Mayor Andy Street is one of the communique’s 32 signatories. 

Convened by UK100 and published today (13 July), the communique argues the case for a new ‘Net Zero Local Powers Bill’ that would require local authorities to report on their emissions and would provide them with new powers to roll out projects designed to reduce emissions in line with net-zero.

The document points to the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recent estimation that UK councils will be able to influence one-third of the emissions generated in their local areas through partnerships and place-shaping, arguing that local authorities will need more support to achieve this. It also argues that members of the general public typically trust their local council more than the central Government, meaning that new powers could boost public support for the net-zero transition.

A Net Zero Local Powers Bill, the communique stipulates, should “permit, oblige and resource relevant levels of authority to undertake climate change action to satisfy the Climate Change Act, meet carbon budgets and deliver an effective pathway to net-zero”. Focus areas include unified emissions reporting and better cross-departmental alignment across Whitehall.

Beyond this overarching call to action, there is a specific focus on decarbonising buildings, energy and transport, as these are the major sources of emissions for most councils.

Issues that councils are striving to grapple with include expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging networks and ensuring they are affordable to access; scaling up energy innovation zones and retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies in mind.

To this latter point, UK100 is calling for a long-term plan that delivers on the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto commitment of £9bn for improved building energy efficiency. While the £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is running as planned, the Green Homes Grant, which was initially allocated a £2bn pot, issued less than £200m in vouchers before its premature closure.

“It is cities and local leaders that are pushing to not only address the climate emergency; but reshape our economy to put people and the sustainability of their jobs, homes and communities first,” Glasgow City Council leader Cllr Susan Aitken said. “We’re happy to play that role but, to succeed, we need the right tools – powers and resources that, right now, are held too far away from where they can be effective.”

The CCC’s recent annual progress report to Parliament stated that the Government has “no coherent plans” for reducing the nation’s emissions this decade. Buildings and transport were flagged as sectors suffering from policy gaps.  

Nature and finance

Also included in the communique are measures to properly finance local transitions to net-zero and to scale up nature-based solutions.

On the former, signatories are urging the Treasury to add a mandate for the new National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) that would require it to prioritise local investment. The communique states: “The NIB will have the capacity to work with local, city and regional authorities to develop investable proposals for place-based net-zero projects and programmes; it should provide development capital and leverage additional private investment to kick-start local energy schemes that are at too early a stage for private finance”.

On nature-based solutions, the communique calls for “progressive incentives and investment models” to scale up projects, as well as “the appropriate resourcing” of the Local Nature Recovery Strategies championed through the Environment Bill. It also echoes concerns voiced by nature charities over the “weak wording” of a commitment to reverse the decline of species and habitats this decade, calling for assurances that the finalised Bill will go beyond simply slowing the decline.

The Environment Bill is currently progressing through the House of Lords. 

Sarah George

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