Government Business 27.6

Government Business 27.06

Can 2021 be the year of Net Zero progress?

In the last few weeks, the eye catching announcements have been numerous - Brexit trade talks ongoing; more than 70 per cent of the country set to be Tier 3 restrictions; and community testing rolled out to Tier 2.

All of this, whilst of the upmost importance, means that other news stories have been overlooked. One of which was made by UK100, who announced that 38 regional leaders, including city mayors and council leaders, are signing the UK100 Net Zero Pledge, explicitly committing them to neutralising their emissions by 2030 and those of their residents and businesses by 2045 - essentially, pledging to move quicker than Whitehall.

With the coronavirus pandemic hitting public services hard and shifting government focus away from other areas, it is possible that some of the climate awareness and support that came to the fore in 2019 has dropped this year - which makes pledges such as this even more important.

Ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, let us hope that next year we can see more local efforts to reach Net Zero. As Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: ‘Local leadership, alongside funding and powers, is key to winning the Race to Net Zero’.

We wish all of our readers, contributors and supporters a safe and enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for a happy New Year in 2021

Michael Lyons

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