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Investment in net zero will be the focus of business action this decade. The UK's green growth opportunities could contribute up to £60bn in gross value to the economy by 2050.
The global race to attract this capital has already begun with countries across the world coming up with strong financial and regulatory incentives to attract investors and projects developers. There are good reasons to believe that the UK should be at the forefront of global investors’ minds for opportunities in the green transition. It certainly has the right climate ambitions, skills, geological conditions, and a market-led tradition that embraces the value of partnership with the private sector.
However, without a deliberate and ambitious strategy from government to capitalise on these strengths, our opportunity to realise the UK’s full green growth potential will be squandered. This should not look to copy the approaches taken by other countries but learn from them, culminating in a distinctive and confident pitch to investors and project developers to answer the question, “Why the UK?”.
The time to act is now
The CBI, in partnership with Clifford Chance, worked with investors and businesses to identify “pull factors” for net zero investments and propose immediate actions that need to be prioritised by the government to strengthen the UK’s offer. Feedback from business leaders deeply involved in the development of projects across a range of green technologies – from renewable generation and carbon capture & storage, to hydrogen production and sustainable aviation fuels – revealed several areas in which the UK could improve its pitch to investors in order to reach final investment decisions.
Unlocking UK's net zero investment
This paper signals the beginning of a conversation that the business community wants to have with politicians to ensure our net zero transition delivers on its potential as a programme for economic transformation. To develop the necessary policy detail highlighted in this paper, the government needs to closely explore detailed solutions for policy areas. This includes the system-of-systems approach to technologies, faster delivery of infrastructure, specific financial models and incentives and – more broadly – secure supply chains and the right skills in the workforce.
The CBI will continue engaging with its UK-wide membership, representing almost a quarter of the private sector, to develop the policy strategy that will attract investment and deliver the highest growth route through decarbonisation.
Share your thoughts
Do you want to shape the CBI’s narrative on green growth policy and have any further thoughts on how to unlock the UK’s net zero investment? Contact Julia Jasinska.