- Updated: 02 February 2021
David Hawkes, Acting Lead Policy Manager
The transition of the UK’s infrastructure to net zero is expected to create new industries and green-economy jobs.
This could make a significant contribution to regional development and the rejuvenation of disadvantaged areas of the UK, providing new infrastructure and local employment.
The opportunities and benefits associated with the transition must be fairly distributed throughout the UK. Equally, it will be important to mitigate adverse effects by supporting sectors and regions affected by the transition.
From an infrastructure perspective, a coherent plan for how the infrastructure sector can contribute to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is required, which should be underpinned by the most appropriate procurement frameworks and the right levels of investment.
ICE’s response recommends that:
- A Net-Zero Infrastructure Plan for transitioning the UK’s economic infrastructure networks to a net-zero footing should be delivered.
- Contracts for Difference and the Regulated Asset Base model should continue to be used, where appropriate, to unlock the market for net-zero technologies identified by the Committee on Climate Change.
- The UK infrastructure bank should have an explicit sustainability mandate, which should prioritise net-zero-aligned projects.
- The government should outline clear, long-term and strategic policy objectives that allow better alignment between regulatory, industry and policy activity. This would provide regulators, industry and consumers with greater clarity on long-term strategic priorities, providing the context for future price reviews and the investments required both within and outside price control periods.
- The government should give serious consideration to replacing the existing generation of road taxes with a pay as you go (PAYG) model for the busiest roads in England, built on the principles outlined in ICE’s previous paper on sustainable roads funding.
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