Chris Skidmore publishes Mission Zero report

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Chris Skidmore MP has published Mission Zero, his review into the government’s approach to reaching net zero by 2050.

Mission Zero makes 129 recommendations covering areas including the greater role that business can be supported to play, making better use of infrastructure and delivering more energy-efficient homes.

In the report, he urges ministers to grasp the ‘historic opportunity’, saying:

We should be proud of the lead the UK has taken in tackling climate change, having exceeded expectations so far in our race to net zero emissions by 2050. As essential as that is environmentally, it also puts us at an economic advantage globally.

We lead in areas including clean technologies, science, manufacturing and green finance – areas that, if managed right, can lead to new jobs and strong economic growth.

In developing this report, we have engaged with communities, economists and climate experts from across the country through more than 50 roundtables and 1800 submissions – all of which have led to the Mission Zero findings.

My recommendations are designed to make the most of this historic opportunity, covering the length and breadth of our economy, so that people in every part of the country can reap the benefits of this both in their communities, and in their pockets.

The main Mission Zero recommendations to the government are:

Using infrastructure to unlock net zero

  • accelerating the implementation of the British Energy Security Strategy to update the mandate of Ofgem, creating the Future System Operator and accelerating the connection of cheaper renewables such as solar and onshore wind
  • developing a cross-sectoral infrastructure strategy by 2025 supporting the building and adaptation of infrastructure for electricity, hydrogen, other liquid and gaseous fuels and CO2 networks that support the green economy
  • reforming our approach to planning, so that where locally supported, more solar and onshore wind can be developed more easily, helping communities reap the benefits of cheaper low-carbon electricity

Creating sustainable governance structures for net zero

  • developing an over-arching government financing strategy by the end of 2023
  • establishing an Office for Net Zero Delivery, responsible for placing net zero delivery at the heart of government thinking

Backing businesses to go green

  • reviewing incentives for investment in decarbonisation, including via the tax system and capital allowances, and protecting British industries from environmental undercutting by progressing plans on carbon leakage measures and providing more detail on the UK’s new Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
  • building skills needed for the transition by driving forward the Green Jobs Taskforce recommendations and launching a ‘Help to Grow Green’ campaign, offering information and support to SMEs to plan and invest in the transition

Catalysing local action

  • reforming the planning system at local and national level to place net zero at its heart
  • back at least one Trailblazer Net Zero City, local authority and community, with the aim for these places to reach net zero by 2030

Increasing transparency and engaging people

  • expanding the government’s public reporting on net zero
  • ramping up public information through a new engagement plan, a new carbon calculator on the carbon cost of choices, and a standardised approach to ecolabelling on products
  • developing a Net Zero Charter mark, acknowledging ‘best in class’ among firms for their work in reaching net zero

Delivering cleaner, cheaper, greener homes

  • legislating for the Future Homes Standard, meaning no new homes will be built with a gas boiler from 2025, and for all homes sold to be EPC C by 2033
  • adopting a 10-year mission to make heat pumps a widespread technology in the UK and legislate for the end of new and replacement gas boilers by 2033 at the latest
  • reforming EPC ratings to create a clearer, more accessible Net Zero Performance Certificate (NZPC) for households

Capitalising on international leadership

  • conducting a strategic review on the UK’s international climate leadership and introduce environmental and climate protections in future free trade agreements, removing trade barriers to environmental goods and services

Setting up for 2050 and beyond

  • ramping up investment in research and development (R&D), with a new net zero R&D and technologies roadmap up to 2050, supporting up to 3 10-year demonstrator projects

Read the full Net Zero Review report.