Documents to download

A ‘green economy’ can be defined as one in which the economic value of protecting the environment is recognised and economic growth does not negatively affect the environment. The independent advisor body the Committee on Climate Change has identified different ways to achieve this in the UK. These include increasing the supply of low-carbon electricity and increasing the energy efficiency of homes and businesses. The committee has also argued progress is needed in areas of the economy where carbon reduction has proved difficult to achieve, such as transport, buildings, and agriculture.

The Government has said that it is possible to grow the UK economy, improve environmental standards and meet its international obligations to reduce carbon emissions. It has argued the development of low carbon technologies would benefit the UK economy as well as reduce carbon emissions, including through the creation of new jobs. This would in part be funded through the expansion of private sector investment in environmental schemes, referred to as ‘green finance’. The Government has set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Government has also made commitments to reduce environmentally damaging waste and increase recycling. These were set out in the 25-year environment plan, published in 2018. Measures to help reduce the amount of environmentally harmful waste created in the UK are also included in the Environment Bill. This was originally introduced in the 2019 session but was reintroduced in 2020. The bill includes provisions such as the introduction of an extended packaging producer responsibility scheme. This is intended to ensure producers of packaging are responsible for the net costs of managing waste arising from their products, including the cost of their disposal.

The Committee on Climate Change has said the Government has set out the right priorities to achieve its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, it has argued the Government is not currently on track to meet this target. It has argued progress has been delayed due to a lack of cross-government coordination.

On 12 March 2020, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrat) that “this House takes note of the case for investing in, and embracing, a green economy that promotes resource efficiency and zero carbon usage”.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Storm overflows discharge reduction plan

    The government published its plan to reduce storm overflow spills and their harmful impacts in August 2022. Under the plan, water companies will have to meet several time-bound targets to limit storm overflow use and eliminate ecological harm from their discharges by 2050. The government was required to publish this plan by 1 September 2022 under the Environment Act 2021.

    Storm overflows discharge reduction plan
  • Impact of climate change and biodiversity loss on food security

    The world is currently experiencing a food crisis. UK consumers are also facing rapid food price inflation. Both the UK government and international bodies, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have identified climate change and biodiversity loss as major contributing factors to food insecurity in the UK and around the world. This briefing considers the nature and extent of this impact and government policies to improve UK food security.

    Impact of climate change and biodiversity loss on food security