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ICE response to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into achieving net-zero

29 January 2021

Before the 2050 net-zero target became law, the UK was already failing to meet the less ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% based on 1990 levels.

Achieving net zero will require a degree of realism about the scale of the challenge, not just the target, but also the required retooling of our infrastructure and broader economic system to support the transition. We have made four recommendations on what the Committee should examine regarding plans and readiness to achieve net zero by 2050:

  • The Committee should explore what policy is being developed by Departments to make actions perceived as difficult to do by the public, easier.
  • The Committee should explore if Departments, from their perspective, have clarity on a net-zero economy's wider benefits beyond climate change targets.
  • The Committee should explore who is ultimately accountable in government for ensuring relevant policy aligns with the net-zero ambition.
  • The Committee should explore whether public and arm-length bodies have or will be made to review their day-to-day activities and spending to check compatibility with the net-zero target. The Committee should also explore what plans exist for regulatory reform to bring regulation more in line with current national objectives and legal requirements.

ICE response to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into achieving net-zero

Content type: Policy

Last updated: January 2021

Authors: ICE

  • Chris Richards, director of policy at Institution of Civil Engineers