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Mission possible

20 January, 2023

We don’t always hear a positive perspective on climate change, and it is easy to get bogged down in the pessimistic headlines telling us targets are unrealistic, and that we’re not on track to achieve them. This week, we’re highlighting some more optimistic news that lights a way forward.

Commissioned by the government as an independent review in September last year, Chris Skidmore’s Mission Zero is the largest national engagement exercise on the future of net zero in the UK. Aiming to understand how the UK can meet its 2050 target, the review takes a whole of society approach to understand how the UK can take advantage of opportunities green growth can offer, and achieve net zero in a more affordable, efficient and pro-growth way. With recent research suggesting all the ‘quick wins’ have been achieved, this review is a welcome beacon on the road to net zero, providing a focus on what’s next.

On the UK’s leadership on climate action, the review paints a positive picture, suggesting the UK has delivered real change at home and across the globe, a stark contrast against last year’s legal action against the government by ClientEarth for its failure to implement an adequate net zero strategy. Despite its glowing appraisal of the UK’s leadership, the review highlights the need to go further faster. Making 129 recommendations, from accelerating the adoption of renewable energy to making major changes to the way we heat our homes, it sets out a direct and focused path towards achieving the UK’s net zero target, acknowledging that net zero will only be achieved if it benefits all of society.

This review is a positive step for the UK government, signaling a change in mindset and a more ambitious plan of action. The future of net zero for the UK is challenging but clear. It’s time to reach beyond the low hanging fruit, so we hope the recommendations laid out in Mission Zero translate into timely action, putting us on a highway to a better future.

By Lucy Bell

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