Cost of net zero lower than predicted

Committee on Climate Change chief executive says reduction easier and cheaper

CIBSE Journal February 2018 Jerry Shoolbred clerk of works PVs

Credit: iStock – Graham CopeKoga

Reaching net-zero carbon emissions will be easier and cheaper than previously thought, according to the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government.

Chief executive Chris Stark highlighted the rapid fall in the cost of renewable energy and said previous estimates that moving to a low-carbon economy would cut trillions from gross domestic product (GDP) were no longer accurate. ‘Net zero is relatively low-cost across the economy,’ he said. ‘But that rests on action now. You can’t sit on your hands and imagine it’s going to get cheaper by magic.’

It will no longer cost as much as 2% of GDP to achieve the 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 forecast in 2008, when the Climate Change Act came into force, according to Stark. But he said the government still did not have a ‘coherent strategy’ to meet the legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

He urged the government to reveal its ten-point plan for achieving net zero in preparation for hosting the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow next year