The ambitious plans are revealed in a new report heralding an “enormous opportunity for the UK” to be at the forefront of green economies – as an independent country. Reconfirming the UK’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the report lists several ways Brexit Britain will establish itself as a key player in the fight against climate change.
It is part of a 108-page document, titled ‘The Benefits of Brexit: How the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU’, which was published on Monday.
Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere – meaning a net zero economy fully offsets its carbon emissions.
The UK was the world’s first major economy to set a target of being net zero by 2050.
The Government report states: “There is enormous opportunity for the UK in net zero and to seize this opportunity we must move first.
“By 2030 low carbon goods and services globally are expected to be worth between £1.1 trillion and £1.8 trillion per year.
“In the UK the green economy could support up to two million jobs, including in our industrial heartlands.
“We want to help our manufacturing sector lead the world in the green industrial revolution.”
The report goes on to argue that Brexit is key to the UK’s position in the green economy.
It adds: “Following Brexit, the UK now has the flexibility to determine our own decarbonisation pathways to 2050, in a way that fully utilises the unique strengths and opportunities of UK diplomacy, industry and innovation.
“We have already published the Net Zero Strategy, Energy White Paper and Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan on how to drive a green industrial revolution and we led the way towards global net zero through our hugely successful hosting of Glasgow COP26.
“In 2022, the UK will publish a 2030 Strategic Framework, which will establish a common vision and clear priorities to guide UK international climate and nature action over the next decade that deliver on the areas set out in the Integrated Review.”
One of the plans laid out in the report is the UK’s “world-leading approach to green finance.”
Key features of the UK’s approach include being the first G20 country to introduce a mandatory Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure requirements for businesses.
The report also cited the issuance of Green Gilts totalling £16 billion.
These act as Government bonds sold to investors, and provide a fixed rate of return until their expiry.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said these gilts “will be used to finance vital green Government projects across the country, including things like clean transportation, renewable energy and preserving our natural environment.”
Mr Sunak added: “In helping us to build back better and greener, it will also help to create jobs as we transition to net zero.”
The UK has also taken advantage of its exit from the EU by introducing new or amended regulations across eight product categories – to reduce bills for consumers and support their ‘right to repair’ on products.
The reports adds that “existing product policies already reduce the average dual fuel bills by around £75 and saved eight metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2021, with further significant potential carbon and energy savings outlined in our Fifth and Sixth Carbon Budgets.”
The UK’s newfound independence when it comes to trade is also crucial to promote global trade rules which are aligned to net zero, states the report.
When the UK appears at COP27 in November, it will do so independently from the EU, allowing it to drive UK priorities.