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Lack of long-term planning is jeopardising government's net-zero target

A LACK of long-term planning from the government risks jeopardising Britain achieving its legally mandated 2050 net-zero target, MPs have warned.

The Commons’ public accounts committee says the government did not consider what levels of long-term investment might be required up to 2050 to support net-zero technologies when it set out timescales for their development in 2021.

In a report published today, the committee says that too often the plans for supporting the advance of these technologies have been short-term, putting at risk the large amounts of private investment needed to achieve net zero by 2050.

It adds that, overall, there has also been a lack of clarity for businesses and a lack of support for consumers.

The report follows the government’s announcement in September to delay the phasing-out of new fossil-fuel vehicles and heating systems.

The committee found that new low-carbon investment from both public and private sectors will have to increase by two to three times each year from last year’s estimated total of £23 billion in order to hit the 2050 target.

The MPs’ report outlines several recommendations, which include the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero working with the Treasury to set out its plans for supporting priority technologies beyond the confines of the current Spending Review period for 2022 to 2025.

Chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “Our committee has warned time and again of the damage that can be done to delivering policy by the lack of long-term planning and funding from government.

“The government must call an end to this faltering approach or risk spelling out to industry, the public and the world that the UK is simply not serious about tackling climate change.”

The department and the Treasury were contacted for comment.


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