UK ‘must hit 9.7% decarbonisation rate to reach net zero by 2050’

That’s according to PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index, which says the current rate of 3.7% is far too slow

The Big Zero report

The UK must hit a 9.7% decarbonisation rate in order to reach the target of going net zero by 2050.

That’s according to PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI), which shows despite the UK leading the G20 nations in terms of having the most rapid decarbonisation rate since 2000, at 3.7%, the rate of progress has slowed in recent years.

The report warns the gap to meet climate targets is widening and stresses the UK needs to act faster to create a pathway to carbon neutrality that other countries can follow.

It notes the UK must follow through on its commitments with a “robust and broad roadmap for change” and highlights that while the majority of the UK’s recent emissions reductions have come from the phase-out of coal, this trend of decarbonisation is neither sustainable or sufficient.

The report emphasises reaching a 9.7% decarbonisation rate will require every sector of the UK economy to undergo significant change and calls for the electrification of transport and heating to be met by scaling up of renewables and increasing investment in clean energy sources, advanced storage solutions and smart grids.

PwC says carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as improved agriculture and land-use practices, will be critical in removing existing levels of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Dr Celine Herweijer, Partner at PwC UK and Global Climate Change Leader at PwC, said: “Achieving net zero will require companies across all sectors to transform, drive innovation and grow whilst managing transition risks. This needs to happen at scale and speed over the coming two to three business cycles.

“It’s one thing for leading companies to set ambitious targets but the ability to meet these will need strong government action to stimulate new market solutions.”

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