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Policy

Chris Skidmore: “Net zero has gone viral”

“Net zero has gone viral, what we need to ensure now is the delivery and implementation of net zero also goes viral.”

That was what Chris Skidmore, Chair of the Net Zero Review, had to say in an exclusive interview with Energy Live News at the Energy Institute’s International Energy Week.

“To deliver net zero we need a whole of society approach. That means working with every business, every industry that may have a high carbon footprint. It may be a renewable industry, may be a solar industry – the key point around net zero is that we work with everyone to decarbonise.”

“Everyone is going to be on path to net zero and I want to make sure they all achieve it.”

His Net Zero Review has called for government to step up on its net zero pledges and ensure that policy aligns with its commitments.

Having witnessed first-hand across the UK how emission reduction targets are being implemented by both businesses and local authorities, he was optimistic about the future.

“I think net zero is eminently achievable and we may even achieve net zero before 2050, if you talk to people like Nigel Topping, they are enormously positive about the technological progress that we are making.”

Mr Topping held the role of UN Climate Change High-Level Champion when the UK hosted COP26.

“What net zero did, was it took a target of 80% emissions reduction on 1990 levels to 100%. [This meant] there’s no place to hide and net zero is everyone’s business. Everyone now has to get on board and get involved,” Mr Skidmore added.

It was his clear opinion that net zero was a joint effort and would only be possible through a business and public-wide partnership.

“2050 isn’t too far away when it comes to long-term business decisions and investment decisions that need to be made. There’s only 324 months until 2050, so if you frame it like that, it’s not far off,” he stressed.

Adding to his view of the future, the climate czar added: “If you’d asked me three years ago, when I signed net zero into law, that 90% of the world’s GDP would be under a target of some form to achieve net zero, I simply wouldn’t have believed you. Net zero has gone viral, what we need to ensure now is the delivery and implementation of net zero also goes viral.”

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