UK must not return to “old normal” in COVID recovery

The government has been told to commit to low carbon stimulus to deliver “lasting and positive change” and avoid any return to the “old normal”.

On 15 July, the Aldersgate Group published a report, Rebuilding to Last, setting out the investment and policy decisions the government should take ahead of the Autumn Budget if it is to deliver an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery following COVID-19. It outlined a four-point plan of action, beginning with a programme of near-term public investments that deliver net job creation across regions. This programme would be targeted at energy efficiency retrofits in particular, as well as natural improvement projects such as tree planting and wetland restoration.

It also called the creation of new institutions, including a National Investment Bank that, working with the National Infrastructure Commission, would establish a clean infrastructure pipeline. It would have £20bn in paid capital and focus on crowding in private sector investment on complex low carbon projects, including CCS and hydrogen.

It further advocated a “low carbon skills and levelling up strategy”, as well as “bold and comprehensive policies” to drive long-term private sector investment towards low carbon infrastructure, goods and services. This would include setting up a rising carbon price starting at £40 per tonne along with a rapid introduction of binding regulatory standards to drive emission cuts in areas such as buildings and vehicles.

Aldersgate Group