- Updated: 20 October 2020
Ben Goodwin, ICE Lead Policy Manager
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the UK’s economy. At the same time, the recovery represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recalibrate the economy around greener growth. Infrastructure is a key enabler for achieving a range of economic, social and environmental goals. In addition, infrastructure investment can act as a stimulus for economic recovery in both the short and medium term, while also helping governments achieve their longer-term objectives.
This submission recommends greening the post-Covid recovery by:
- Ensuring the government’s immediate economic response to Covid-19 is driven by the UK’s existing long-term challenges, including population growth and meeting the 2050 net-zero emissions target and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Reforming the use of HM Treasury’s Green Book so infrastructure investment, focused on economic stimulus packages, aligns with net-zero outcomes
- Investing in new and improved infrastructure, such as accelerating the roll-out of both full-fibre and 5G communications infrastructure, and greater active travel (cycling and walking) provision
- Establishing a UK Investment Bank, with a sustainability mandate, to drive investment in net-zero-aligned infrastructure, as part of post-Covid recovery
- Developing an Infrastructure Skills Plan to inform the design of stimulus packages so the UK has a workforce capable of delivering the net-zero emissions target and so public investment delivers green infrastructure jobs throughout the country
- Digitalising infrastructure so existing assets can be operated more flexibly in response to changing conditions post-Covid and so new infrastructure assets can be delivered more efficiently and achieve cost and carbon savings.
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