The Confederation of British Industry is urging the government to invest in green technology and jobs
Britain’s leading business group has called on the government to create green jobs to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
At the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s first virtual net zero conference on Monday, director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said the UK must become a global leader in climate action to create new green jobs and lift productivity post-pandemic.
Net zero refers achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by offsetting or using alternatives to eliminate carbon emissions altogether.
Last year, Britain set a target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 but progress has been hindered by the pandemic and the struggling economy.
Fairbairn said: “For so many, this feels like a time of fiercely competing goals. The world faces two seemingly separate yet fundamental problems. Covid-19 – the biggest health crisis in living memory and climate change – the defining challenge of the modern era.
“But they are not separate. The response to one affects success on the other. And the defining question is, how does the UK use this moment to rebuild our economy and the greener and stronger world we want to return to?”
Launching the CBI’s Green Recovery Roadmap, Fairbairn said “action speaks a thousand times louder than words” – calling on the government to take ambitious steps nationally and use the rest of the year to reignite global efforts to achieve net-zero by 2050.
The roadmap includes actions which the business group believe could reignite business investment, create green jobs and kickstart a sustainable economic recovery.
These include accelerating the delivery of electric vehicle charging points, creating an office for sustainable aviation fuels to secure the development of low-carbon alternatives and delivering jobs and energy savings by retrofitting homes and buildings to be more energy-efficient and switch to low-carbon heating.
Fairbairn said the UK is in “pole position” to lead the world in green tech such as hydrogen, carbon capture and storage.
“We have the science, ambition and expertise to succeed,” she added.
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