Powering the UK’s low-carbon future

Powering the UK’s low-carbon future

Climate change demands urgent action: business must lead the way

The UK has a legally binding net-zero by 2050 target, a commitment to ‘build back better’ after COVID-19 and are the hosts of the COP26 climate conference in 2021. Business will be at the heart of the delivery of net-zero, and we are calling on government to clarify how policy will get the UK on track to reach this target.

The change we're calling for

Driving this fundamental change across all sectors of the economy and society requires immediate action, sector roadmaps to net-zero and long-term policy support. By working together, business and government can realise the potential of low-carbon power; facilitate the switch to low-emission vehicles; support the decarbonisation of energy intensive industries, improve energy efficiency and develop low-carbon solutions for heating. We are calling on the government to put the policies in place that enable business to reduce emissions and achieve net-zero.

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    Develop policies to support a low-carbon electricity system that reinforces networks and a diverse mix of low-carbon generation

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    Support progress towards the 2030 target for low-emission vehicles with the required charging infrastructure, and long-term approaches to sustainable aviation

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    Support industrial decarbonisation through the development of roadmaps for CCUS, low-carbon hydrogen and energy efficiency

Why it's needed

To avoid the devastating effects of climate change, the UK has set a legally binding emissions target of net-zero by 2050. Business and government must work together to deliver this.

Renewable energy connected to the grid has increased by 500% in the last decade, while the return of Pot 1 auctions and a 5GW target for low-carbon hydrogen has reinforced the UK’s commitment to decarbonising power generation. But more progress must be made. Without clear, long-term roadmaps for the decarbonisation of all sectors, and visible financing strategies for CCUS and hydrogen, business is prevented from taking the next steps.

Businesses need more incentives to make the switch to low emission vehicles. The government must work with industry to deliver a national charging infrastructure strategy and vision for low emissions logistics to encourage the mass switch required.

These policies must be developed now if business is to make a significant difference in time.

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"Our energy system is going through profound change at the moment. Industry needs to work with government so we can continue to invest with confidence as we move to a low-carbon economy, where our energy comes from a wide range of sources and businesses and households are in more control of the energy they use."

Carl Ennis, Managing Director, Energy Management, Siemens PLC

Lower carbon means better business

The vast growth potential of renewables

A low-carbon future will be great for the planet and phenomenal for business and our economy too. The journey to net-zero will drive significant economic growth, provide vast employment, export opportunities and national cost savings.

  • Scale of government investment in the low-carbon economy will stimulate private investment and support up to 250,000 jobs by 2030

  • Government to mobilise £12bn of public funding that could leverage more than three times that amount from the private sector

  • UK emissions fell by 43% between 1990 and 2018, whilst the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G20 country since 2000

Our progress and impact

The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?

    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to ensure the government hits the new net-zero emissions target.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?

    Have your say

    Could your business feel the impact of new emissions regulation? Are you striving to meet the net-zero target? Share your story and help shape a low-carbon future.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?

    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Infrastructure and Energy team.

    Contact Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, to find out about the change UK business urgently needs to reach a low-carbon future and how you can support it.

    Contact us