UK Net Zero Strategy – A clearer view of the challenges to 2050

climate change

27 October 2021 – Clifford Chance –

Ahead of its Presidency of COP26, the UK Government has published its Net Zero Strategy to 2050. The Strategy covers all business sectors and some cross-cutting themes.

This briefing explores major new elements of policy, some of the major uncertainties, and key challenges faced by business in planning and implementing a path to Net Zero by 2050.

Key issues

• Uncertainty about energy and technology solutions means there are various
pathways to achieve Net Zero by 2050.
• Inevitably, each pathway involves major increases in electricity generation and
hydrogen production, and in decarbonisation of transport, buildings, and industry,
and much greater levels of energy efficiency.
• The ability to scale up greenhouse gas removal, and the role of hydrogen in
heating buildings, are major uncertainties.
• Nuclear is likely to play a significant role in the decarbonisation of power. • The UK Emissions Trading Scheme is at the centre of NZS but with uncertainty
over how to deal with ‘carbon leakage’.
• UK sustainable finance plans will include Sustainability Disclosure
Requirements by 2022 based on the TCFD, and on a new UK Taxonomy
based on the EU equivalent.
• Notable omissions include livestock farming and meat-free diets, and a clear
approach on ‘Just Transition.’

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