William Eichler 09 March 2020

Over £30bn annual investment needed to reach net zero by 2050

An estimated £33bn of additional investment is needed every year for the next three decades if the Government is to meet its carbon emissions target of net zero by 2050, think tank says.

IPPR has called on the Government to ‘show real leadership’ on the climate and nature crises by investing more on decarbonising the economy.

It argues that the Government should go faster than its current legal target of net zero by 2050, but says that even this timeframe ‘remains challenging’ because of insufficient policy action from Whitehall.

IPPR estimates that £33bn of additional investment is needed every year from now until 2050 to meet the Government’s legal target. This is less than the UK spends on defence every year.

Transport and buildings are two of the most important areas for public investment, the think tank says.

Decarbonising transport by, for example, building out and upgrading the railways will require about £12bn additional annual investment.

Reducing emissions from buildings will mean a large scale Government funded retrofit programme to support making all of our homes more energy efficient.

IPPR also calls for more investment in nature, farming and industry, and emphasises the importance of social justice when delivering this investment to ensure no communities are left behind.

‘What is needed is nothing less than a step change of the scale of public investment in the green transition,’ it says.

‘Such an investment will help us tackle the climate and nature crises but crucially it can also help us secure a better quality of life for all and a fairer and more prosperous economy.’

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