Is Net Zero Really a Hero?



  • Dr. Olaf Clemens
  • Published: 25 October 2021

With COP26 looming at the end of October, the UK government has announced a package of 18 deals worth £9.7 billion intended to support green growth and create an estimated 30,000 jobs across various sectors. While the proposals are broadly in line with expectations – the replacement of polluting gas boilers, support for the switch to electric cars being prominent among the initiatives – many observers across the scientific and political spectrums have criticized the proposals as over-cautious. At the same time, a report by HM Treasury on the cost of net zero has warned that the transition from fossil fuels will require new sources of taxation, negatively impacting household incomes.

This latest Government package comes in the wake of a promised £26 billion in capital investment to spark a “green industrial revolution”. The Government maintains this will support up to 190,000 jobs by 2025 and up to 440,000 jobs by 2030, and also leverage up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030. Proposals include producing all electricity from clean sources by 2035; ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and new gas boilers by 2035; meeting energy efficiency targets on mortgage providers’ portfolios; and making the UK a world-leader in zero-emission flights. 

In this short paper, we discuss some of the key challenges that lie ahead, and the sectors – including financial services – which will be adversely impacted going forward, resulting in a trickle-down effect that will be felt by the UK public at the household and individual level.  
Contact Charles Sincock ESG Lead, or Ross Molynuex Managing Principal, to find out more.