The National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC) has published the latest report from its net zero project: Beyond COVID-19: laying the foundations for a net-zero recovery.
The paper sets out five foundations for government, industry and the engineering community to deliver a net zero recovery. In tackling current employment and economic crises caused by the pandemic, it encourages government to not lose sight of broader objectives such as net zero, resilience, international competitiveness and the need to create a more equal society.
The five foundations broadly cover:
- Government must ensure that recovery packages work together as a whole to pivot the UK towards a net-zero economy.
- Government spending on new infrastructure and public buildings must avoid the trap of high carbon construction methods and lay the foundations for a future net-zero infrastructure system including minimising the need for future retrofitting, by basing spending choices on outcomes and including whole-life carbon evaluation.
- Government should drive digital transformation as an essential enabler of net-zero and resilience.
- Government must increase the UK’s technical capability to deliver net-zero by creating a national workforce planning strategy and implementing proactive policies on diversity and inclusion in employment and training that will help reverse the impact of COVID-19 on employment opportunities for women and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
- Government should deploy a cross-sectoral systems approach to policymaking that accounts for the impact that transforming one part of the economy or national infrastructure will have on the others.