Steve Jennings, Head of Energy & Utilities at PwC, said:
“Government is signalling an intent and an ambition which is really positive, but the £12bn investment is the significant point here. It will be the private sector that has to invest significantly and create and support these green jobs, and the private sector will look for a compelling investment case to invest the sums required.”
Up to £400bn of investment is required in green infrastructure over the next decade if the UK is to meet its ambitious Net Zero target, according to a new report by PwC commissioned by the Global Infrastructure Investment Association (GIIA). The Unlocking Capital for Net Zero Infrastructure report outlines how existing UK infrastructure requires significant investment to deliver Net Zero. The report estimates that £40bn investment per year is required in new low carbon and digital infrastructure, if the Government’s 2050 target is to be met.
Dr Celine Herweijer, partner at PwC UK and PwC Global Climate Change Leader, said:
"The UK’s Net Zero Goal ticked the box on ambition but had so far lacked a credible and robust plan to deliver it. The PM’s new 10-point plan takes a big step forward in addressing that policy gap, with commitments, critical investment and policy levers that will help transform UK sectors - including transport, energy, manufacturing, and buildings.
"Sharp policy instruments, like the 2030 ban petrol and diesel engines, have a history of pivoting industry, and the automotives sector is one that is ready with many of the big automakers already committing to net zero. The EV sector is one that is already thriving with investment and early success. But we need to see more of these measures outlined to help the transformation of harder to abate heavy industries”.
"Next week's Spending Review is the next important opportunity to turn this plan into action. We quickly need a detailed and workable roadmap which outlines how to deliver the transformation in practice across government, industry and the whole of the UK economy."
Dan Dowling, director at PwC, said:
“If we can find a way to produce it efficiently, hydrogen could be an especially important solution for decarbonising freight and industry. For urban areas where electric heat pumps are also being championed, the otherwise prohibitive costs of new hydrogen infrastructure could be mitigated by the conversion of existing gas networks. This transition will inevitably create co-ordination and regulatory challenges including the alignment of consumer heating systems, appliances, safety, regulation and investment. To overcome these quickly, rollout will need to be well targeted, whilst public and private partnerships will be essential to develop a delivery chain required for a broader transition.”
Jayne Harrold, UK Environmental Taxes Leader at PwC, said:
"This plan forms part of the broader UK strategy to address the fundamental challenge of climate change. Another part of that strategy is the tax system, which is riddled with policies that will impact many of these announcements. Our tax system must support this plan and it would be good to see more detail on how it will do this in the Chancellor's Spring Budget."
Commenting on the potential impact on the government’s levelling-up agenda, Dan Burke, government strategy leader at PwC, said:
“Speed is of the essence to get the plan into action. Starting this programme quickly will deliver the best benefits to levelling-up the UK by focusing the programme on preserving and protecting jobs, rather bringing people back into employment.
“Alongside investment in the green industrial revolution, investment in skills within the communities where these jobs will be created, will be key to empowering people to benefit from the jobs.
“Concerted action and coordination across national and local government and business will be needed to connect this investment into local economic recovery plans. By disproportionately creating these jobs and placing investment in places that have been left behind will help areas that have felt the harshest of impacts of the Covid crisis.”
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