- Updated: 20 October 2020
Ben Goodwin, ICE Lead Policy Manager
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the UK’s economy. At the same time, the recovery represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recalibrate the economy around greener growth. Infrastructure is a key enabler for achieving a range of economic, social and environmental goals and should therefore feature prominently in the UK’s response to Covid-19.
This submission recommends that the government’s economic response to Covid-19 should focus on the 2050 net-zero emissions target by:
- Delivering a plan for transitioning the UK’s economic infrastructure networks to net zero to ensure that new infrastructure investment, as part of a Covid-19 stimulus package, aligns with the 2050 target
- Reforming the use of HM Treasury’s Green Book so infrastructure investment is focused on achieving net-zero outcomes
- Digitalising infrastructure so existing assets can be operated more flexibly in response to changing conditions post-Covid and so new infrastructure assets can be delivered more efficiently and achieve cost and carbon savings
- Establishing a UK Investment Bank, with a sustainability mandate, to drive investment in net-zero-aligned infrastructure and to crowd-in private finance
- Accelerating the roll-out of both full-fibre and 5G communications infrastructure, and greater active travel (cycling and walking) provision.
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