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Civil engineering insights on pathways to decarbonisation - delivering the UK government’s Net Zero Strategy

Date
26 January 2023

The publication of the government’s Net Zero Strategy in October 2021 marked a significant step forward for UK climate policy.

However, there is growing concern that the UK is falling behind in its objective to achieve net zero by 2050. Action is needed quickly to provide the detail and start implementing the high-level policies and proposals set out in the Net Zero Strategy.

This insight paper outlines what is required across the infrastructure system to decarbonise the economy by 2050. It draws on input from senior figures in the relevant sectors and insight from experts on the ICE’s Decarbonisation and Low Carbon Energy Community Advisory Boards.

It examines:

  • the key policy and delivery gaps that need to be addressed, particularly in the transport, buildings and energy sectors
  • the need for a formal system of net zero governance to oversee cross-departmental working and translate high-level targets into policy at a local level
  • accelerating the deployment of renewable and low carbon energy sources to reduce emissions and improve the UK’s energy security
  • the need for a stronger focus on demand-side solutions and behaviour change to reduce consumer demand for high-carbon activities, including modal shift and road pricing options to lower tailpipe emissions from private vehicles
  • a realistic approach to the contribution new and emerging technologies, such as engineered removals and hydrogen, can make towards delivering net zero
  • continuing to evolve the funding mechanisms and regulatory frameworks required to enable infrastructure’s transition to net zero

Civil engineering insights on pathways to decarbonisation - delivering the UK government’s Net Zero Strategy

Content type: Policy

Last updated: 24/01/2023

Author: ICE policy team

  • David McNaught, policy manager at ICE