Decarbonising the economy

What structures and processes are needed to ensure a just transition to net zero?

A group of people sitting round a table and staring at a screen

Following a successful second evidence session last month led by chair Lord Watson of Wyre Forest and co-chair Professor Lucelia Rodrigues, witnesses from the University of Nottingham, Uplift, Finance Earth and PA Consulting discussed the structures and processes needed for a low-carbon economy that understands local needs and mitigates risks to communities.

Witnesses provided insights, particularly emphasising devolution and bottom-up strategies tailored to specific regions. For example, witnesses explored the ways that public engagement can be carried out through local level initiatives and the potential of multilevel responses to effectively take into considering differing needs across the UK’s nations.

Crucially, the roles of the public sector and businesses were highlighted in the session with a focus on the introduction of market-based infrastructure to increase incentives for low carbon and renewable initiatives. Moreover, witnesses discussed strengthening rules surrounding phenomena such as ‘greenwashing’ which would require a clear definition and legislation.

During the second half of the session, witnesses explored the various debates surrounding defining and measuring terms such as ‘net zero’ and ‘transition’. The notion of what qualifies as a ‘green job’ was also considered. Witnesses then delved into the term ‘just’ and explored how decarbonisation interplays with the housing sector, along with the disproportionate exposure ethnic minorities face to climate change.

To conclude the session, witnesses noted the importance of nature protection and considered the inclusion of biodiversity within climate-related frameworks.

Thank you to all our commissioners for their lines of inquiry. We are looking forward to our final commissioners' meeting later this month as we begin to compile our final report of recommendations.

The three witness sessions held by the Commission have been fascinating and enlightening, and given the Commissioners a huge amount of insight as they prepare to create the final Commission report. We're grateful to all the experts who generously shared their time and wisdom with us and we look forward to making an important contribution to this complex policy challenge.
Chris Sims, Deputy Director at the Institute for Policy and Engagement

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about the policy commission or the other work that the Institute does to support transitioning to a net zero future, please email us.