UK plans to slash carbon emissions 68% by 2030 – how banking, building and borrowing can help
(The Conversation, 4 Dec 2020) For those conscious of the growing climate crisis and the perilous economic situation, the path out of the coronavirus recession looks like a tightrope. On one side, the urgent need to revive the economy and head off unemployment. On the other, the demand that post-COVID growth is green and sustainable. The UK’s recently announced national infrastructure strategy is part of the government’s vision for managing that balancing act.
The government has set out plans to renew the UK’s “creaking national anatomy” with “hundreds of billions of pounds” of private and public investment in transport, the energy sector and telecommunications. But with the newly announced target to cut carbon emissions by at least 68% of what they were in 1990 by the end of 2030, decarbonisation measures must be much more aggressive.
If planned carefully, there are opportunities for targeting this promised infrastructure spending in a way that could slash emissions and make the British economy more sustainable.
1. National infrastructure bank
The UK government is to set up a national infrastructure bank in the North of England which will fund projects across the UK, while attempting to garner additional private investment. The bank’s institutional weight will lend confidence and guarantees to private investors, and could assist local and mayoral authorities with regional infrastructure projects.