The UK must go “faster, further and fairer” in tackling both the climate and nature crisis and rebuilding the economy, the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission has said.
On 27 May, the cross-party commission published a report, urging the UK to raise ambition and secure greater action on climate and nature around the world as host of COP26, something that places it in a unique global leadership role. This is something that “must not be squandered” and requires a “radially new approach” at home, the commission said.
As a first step, it is calling on the government to accelerate action to combat the climate and nature emergency in a way that will also kickstart the recovery from COVID-19.
To go “faster”, the report called on government to commit to decarbonising the economy significantly faster over the next decade and to align its ambition with 1.5°C and net zero over the next 10 years, which must be achieved entirely through domestic action, to invest at least £30bn in a green recovery to help and to initially direct this investment to “shovel-ready” green projects that will generate the most jobs. To go “further”, the report called for a target for consumption emissions – the carbon burnt abroad to make and supply everything the UK imports – to add a target for the UK’s global environmental footprint, and to audit all government activities, policies, rules and decision-making to ensure they conform to the country’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.
Elsewhere, to put fairness at the heart of the transition, the commission called for a new “Net Zero and Just Transition” delivery body, responsible for plans to capture the benefits of a net zero economy for all, and to invest £5bn in a national Just Transition Fund.