Pathways to Net Zero – Roundtable Discussion Series 2

Transport Knowledge Hub logo Published on: 1st September 2022 by Claire Haigh.

Building on the success of the Pathways to Net Zero roundtable series in March this year, Trueform are kindly sponsoring a further series this autumn.  Pathways to Net Zero Roundtable Discussion Series 2 will take the discussion to the next stage and seek to identify solutions to deliver emissions reductions at the scale and pace needed.

The Growth Plan 2022[i] makes clear that growth is the new UK government’s central mission. A review is underway to ensure that net zero is pro-business and pro-growth. The government has ended the moratorium on fracking, given the green light for new oil and gas drilling and suspended green levies on energy bills.   It is vital, however, that the government remains fully committed to delivering on net zero and maintains the UK’s strong world-leading targets.

In February 2022, the IPCC issued their bleakest warning yet on climate impacts.  Extreme weather events are intensifying across the world.  Meanwhile the climate crisis has been joined by a major war, rising inflation, a food emergency, supply chain crises, and a widespread, deepening cost of living crisis driven largely by spiraling energy costs.

We cannot afford any backsliding on decarbonisation.  It is our dependency on fossil fuels that is at the root of the climate emergency, as well as our energy security crisis and the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.

Hasta La Vista, Carbon! chaired by Stephen Glaister CBE, Emeritus Professor of Transport and Infrastructure at Imperial College London and Associate of the London School of Economics, will focus on how we can develop solutions to the cost of living crisis that will accelerate the transition to net zero and enhance our energy security.

  • How can we use pricing and the wider system of taxation, incentives and fiscal measures to accelerate the transition to net zero? What is the role of personal carbon allowances in changing behaviour and delivering carbon reduction?
  • The cost of the energy support package for businesses and consumers is £60 billion over the next six months, with the longer term costs unknown. What would be an affordable and sustainable long-term solution to the energy crisis that will ensure the right level of targeted support to those who need it,  accelerate the transition to net zero and restore confidence in our public finances?
  • How do we ensure that growth doesn’t come at the expense of tackling climate change? How can we use regulation to create markets and provide policy makers with a bigger toolbox to drive sustainable growth compatible with net zero?  How can we use Scope 3 emissions to forge new partnerships and drive forward sustainable growth.
  • How can we maximize the role of energy demand reduction to tackle the climate, cost of living and energy security crises? The IPCC calculate that reducing energy demand could deliver a 40-70 per cent reduction in global GHG emissions by 2050[ii].
  • There is a strong appetite for action on net zero. What examples are there of innovative solutions being developed by communities across the UK, and by the private and public sectors at the subnational, regional and local level?
  • How do we change the behaviour of decision-makers? How can we move away from short-term thinking and decision making and take a systemic long-term approach to tackling climate change, ensuring that net zero is at the heart of policy making?

The Future We Want chaired by Professor Jillian Anable, Chair in Transport and Energy, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, will focus on how we can create an inspiring greener vision for the future, which will help build the mandate for change and tough decisions for the long term.

  • What would a sustainable aspirational lifestyle look like? How do we move beyond the language of sacrifice and narratives of doom and gloom, and develop an inspiring and hopeful vision for the future?
  • 84% of people in the UK are concerned about climate change, with 41% very concerned. [iii] How do we build on greater public awareness of the issues because of high fuel and gas prices and climate impacts? How do we ensure that the pro public transport agenda of the last government continues?
  • What do we want our towns and cities to look like, and how do we bring that about? How can we empower our local leaders to deliver cleaner, greener, less congested and more prosperous places to live and work with more connected communities and better opportunities for all?
  • What is the role of enterprise and business in leading the shift to more sustainable transport solutions and accelerating the transition to net zero in ways that do not require government subsidy?
  • What support from government is needed for local councils, and what is in the gift of councils to do more of without needing government support? How can we find innovative solutions and use existing regulations and policies to do things differently?
  • How do we treat people more like citizens? How do we move from a culture that is primarily focused on consumerism to one that embraces values of community and recognises our fundamental interdependence with each other and the biosphere?

If you would like more information please contact the event organisers at greenervision@connectpa.co.uk

[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-growth-plan-2022-documents 

[ii] https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/

[iii] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/beis-public-attitudes-tracker-spring-2022  

About the Author

This post was written by Claire Haigh. Founder & CEO of Greener Vision & Executive Director of the Transport Knowledge Hub. Claire was previously CEO of Greener Transport Solutions (2021-2022) and CEO of Greener Journeys (2009-2020).