Net zero must be fair, say MPs

The government is criticised over its ‘insufficient’ public engagement practices around net zero

The Big Zero report

Fairness should underpin the UK’s transition to net zero.

That’s one of the recommendations of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee which urges the government to prioritise the Net Zero Review and Net Zero Strategy to increase engagement with the public, businesses and industry.

In its report named ‘Climate Assembly UK: Where are we now’, the committee suggests the government’s public engagement practices are insufficient.

MPs recommend a ‘joined-up approach’ to net zero with local authorities, businesses and citizens.

The report also finds that the cross-departmental coordination in delivering net zero is inadequate.

Darren Jones, Chair of the BEIS Committee, said: “Whether it’s decarbonising heating in our homes, reducing our emissions from transport or dealing with changes in the workplace, we know the net zero transition will soon become a lived experience in every home across the country.

“But the government’s failure to engage the public means we risk people viewing the net zero transition in a negative light and perceiving policy measures as being imposed.”

A government spokesperson said: “Tackling climate change must be shared endeavour and our ambition puts affordability and fairness at its heart, hand in hand with supporting economic growth and prosperity across the UK.

“We continue to engage households and businesses in our efforts to eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change, including through measures such as the Together for our Planet Campaign, which encourages individuals and businesses to change their behaviour in order to tackle climate change.”

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