Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Next steps for achieving net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050 - local and national policy, tackling challenges for key sectors, and the pathway to a just transition

February 2021

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference is examining the next steps for reaching net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050.

The discussion focuses on:

  • policy - at a national and local level, including assessing the Energy White Paper
  • funding and collaboration
  • tackling challenges for energy-intensive sectors - including energy, transport, agriculture and manufacturing
  • encouraging behaviour change

The conference is bringing together stakeholders with a range of key policy officials, including representatives from BEIS; Defra; the Environment Agency; DfT; the ORR; Ofwat; the FCDO; the Crown Commercial Service; the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; DIT; the DfT; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Infrastructure, NI; the Government Legal Department; GCHQ; the Greater London Authority; the HSE; the Cabinet Office; HMRC; the NAO; the Nuclear Innovation & Research Office; the Office for Product Safety and Standards; the ONS; the ORR; Ofwat; The Scottish Government; the Wales Office; and the Welsh Government. 

The agenda:

  • Climate goals and a green economic recovery - pathways to reaching net-zero by 2050
  • ‘The net part of net-zero: how we harness Nature to meet emissions goals, while fostering resilience’
  • Creating policy frameworks for net-zero transition
    • Priorities for governance and institutional structures to support strategy development
    • Use of data and supporting the development of evidence-based policymaking
    • Attracting investment and targeting funding to support a net-zero economy
    • Priorities for net-zero at a local level
  • Addressing decarbonisation challenges for key energy-intensive sectors
    • Reducing deployment barriers for low-carbon energy supply and capacity, creating system flexibility, and supporting supply chain and technology development
    • Next steps for net-zero in transport - commercialising low emission mobility, widening adoption, and preparing infrastructure for growth
  • Strategies for decarbonisation and economic recovery across economic sectors - identifying and tackling barriers, enhancing collaboration, and driving forward innovation
  • Policy priorities for reaching net-zero emissions

Areas for discussion:

  • national and local policy:
    • setting policy frameworks and guidance - creating governance, regulatory and institutional frameworks that support strategy development and support industry involvement
    • informing an evidence based approach to policy - sharing best practice, utilising data, and improving channels for communicating net-zero challenges into decision making
    • funding:
      • sources - creating a sustainable, effective approach to public investment and its allocation, encouraging and securing private sources of investment, and strategies for mitigating risk
      • confidence - what is needed to retain and improve engagement of investors in supporting net-zero development
      • just transition - how costs for financing the transition can be distributed fairly across the economy
    • the roles of local, regional and national government - preparing for net-zero by 2050 and working towards a just transition:
      • local decarbonisation plans - increasing cooperation between local government and other key stakeholders, tackling unique challenges for local areas, and sharing best practice
      • securing behavioural change - planning for low-carbon transport, rolling out innovation in energy efficiency, and ensuring local governments and partners lead by example
      • a just transition across society - employment and retraining, managing potential areas of inequality, and developing new career opportunities with local industry and partners 
  • decarbonising key sectors:
    • clean energy - development and deployment at scale:
      • policy - what is needed from the Energy White Paper and wider policy, and how can regulatory barriers be reduced
      • maintaining healthy supply chains - and the pipeline and commercialisation of technology
      • infrastructure - ensuring network capacity is ready for decentralisation
    • transport - what is needed to support the shift to clean transport and decarbonise existing systems:
      • innovation - priorities for developing battery and alternative fuel technologies
      • creating the optimal conditions for change - reducing costs and encouraging adoption
      • preparation and collaboration - working in local and cross-industry groups
    • farming and land use - priorities for enhancing low-carbon practices, and the impact of environmental land management schemes:
      • investment - leveraging public and private funding
      • carbon sequestration - the way forward for research and increasing capabilities
      • best practice - scaling up greater use of sustainable agronomy and restoring peatland resources
    • manufacturing - including the impact of changes in environmental regulation at the end of the EU exit transition period:
      • priorities for utilising new stewardship guidance
      • working towards targets on water, air and nature quality

A scan of policy background and developments:

  • overarching policy
    • the Energy White Paper - outlining a route for decarbonising the entire energy system up to 2050, including plans to:
      • announce the expected publication of the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy in Spring 2021, detailing how the government aims to support the manufacturing industry
      • predominantly rely on renewable energy to aid the transition to clean green energy supply, including for adjacent sectors like heat and transport
      • support the growth in offshore wind as a key component of electricity production, along with commercialising and deploying 1GW of floating wind
      • set up a UK emissions trading scheme from January 2021, with the end of transition from the EU
      • encourage public behavioural change, including schemes such as spending £1.3bn to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and a permanent shift away from fossil fuel boilers
      • support the workforce transition from fossil fuel to green industries
    • Decarbonising transport: setting the challenge ahead - the transport decarbonisation plan due this year, which seeks to tie together other transport plans for a holistic low-carbon approach
    • new Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge funding - for projects in the West Midlands, Tees Valley, North West, Humber, Scotland and South Wales, with local authorities and industry working jointly on carbon emissions reduction
    • the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution - aiming to provide green jobs whilst fast-tracking the UK towards net-zero emissions, tying objectives together from across energy-intensive sectors, and supported by a £40m fund to help retrain green workforces
    • the National Infrastructure Strategy - with a strong emphasis on incorporating net-zero commitments into approaches going forward
    • the Net Zero Review Interim Report- outlined measures for the transition to a green economy that secures economic growth with benefit across the UK while protecting low income households, with the final report expected to be published in spring 2021
    • the Green Finance Strategy - with commitments to enable long-term capital for clean projects, as well as reducing market barriers for the private sector
    • the Sixth Carbon Budget - published late last year, advising on the level of UK emissions for 2033-2037, as well as key recommendations for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050
    • the Environment Bill - with new legal powers for tackling waste, protecting biodiversity, and incentivising good governance
  • specific sectors:
    • Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK - the CCC’s advice on agriculture and land use policies for net-zero, looking at farming decarbonisation and protecting and restoring peatland
    • the Agriculture Bill - aiming to establish new and environmentally friendly payment systems to farmers after the EU transition period
    • Government takes historic step towards net-zero with end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 - an earlier deadline recently announced by the Government
    • Prepare for lift-off: Jet Zero Council to deliver carbon-free flight - launched to support a transition to a zero-emission aviation sector by 2050
    • the Green Homes Grant - launched through BEIS, aimed at improving home energy efficiency across England
    • the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge aimed at encouraging investment to support green innovation within sectors such as cement, glass, chemicals, and metals
    • Future Homes Standard Consultation - introducing targets to improve energy performance of new homes, aimed at lowering energy consumption and bills, and helping to protect the environment by 2025
  • COVID-19:
    • government’s economic recovery strategy - tying together measures to stimulate growth and demand measures with net-zero goals, including a focus on local level objectives
    • COVID-19 can be an historic turning point in tackling the global climate crisis - the CCC advising for policy that targets low-carbon reskilling, social and behavioural change, and moving towards a more circular economy

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from BEIS; Defra; the DfT; the ORR; Ofwat; the FCDO; the Cabinet Office; the Crown Commercial Service; the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; the Department for International Trade; the Department for the Economy, NI; Department for Infrastructure, NI; the Environment Agency; the Government Legal Department; GCHQ; the Health and Safety Executive; HM Revenue & Customs; the National Audit Office; the Nuclear Innovation & Research Office (NIRO); the Office for Product Safety and Standards; the Office for National Statistics; The Scottish Government; Wales Office; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from the AHDB; Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub for the UK; Atkins; Aviva; Baringa; Bristol City Council; Burges Salmon; Carbon & Energy Fund; Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock; Costain; Forest Carbon; Frazer-Nash Consultancy; Hertfordshire County Council; Kier Group; Knowledge Transfer Centre, University of Reading; London Legacy Development Corporation; Ministry of Defence; National Grid ESO; Natural Resources Wales; NFU; Oblath Advisory; Proctor and Matthews Architects; Roadgas; Rothamsted Research; Shell; Smarter Carbon CIC; South West Water; Tees Valley Nature Partnership; This is Gravity; University of Plymouth; University of Surrey; University of York (CNAP); Vattenfall Wind Power; Young People's Trust for the Environment and Zero Waste Scotland.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from the Bloomberg; Fleet News - Bauer Media and Montel News.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles