UK must invest in 'big six' renewables urges LSE report

By Dominic Ellis
Key categories will help 'build back better' from the pandemic and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050...

The UK must focus on six key areas if it it is to 'build back better' from the pandemic and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a London School of Economics report.

In its paper entitled Jobs for a strong and sustainable recovery from Covid-19, it advises the government to place net-zero-aligned investments at the heart of the UK’s recovery plan. In particular, it highlights six key areas for investment:

  • Energy efficiency in buildings
  • Natural capital projects
  • Active travel equipment and infrastructure, such as bicycles and cycle lanes
  • Renewable power generation and distribution
  • Electric vehicle production and charging infrastructure
  • Carbon capture, utilisation and storage and hydrogen production  

There is an "urgent and immediate demand for labour-intensive and hence job-creating investments, to address the large-scale labour market displacements as the Covid-19 crisis continues to unfold and crucially, to help avoid costly and damaging labour market scarring," the report notes.

The areas it highlights would provide an environmental-economy twin win as construction projects for travel infrastructure, home energy efficiency retrofits, and planting trees and restoring wetlands are recognised as being capable of delivering jobs at speed, it adds.

While the UK has made a strong start with renewables, packages of support for clean activity in France and Germany "appear larger in magnitude". Although the technologies exist to meet the UK's ambitious emissions target, technology maturity levels vary and delivery must progress with far greater urgency if it is to stay on track, it notes.

 

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