Innovation policy for net zero
24 May 2021
In the past few months a flurry of new climate targets have been announced, including in the UK, suggesting a step-change in global political willingness to take action to reduce emissions. Innovation – the creation and adoption of new technologies, processes and business models—will play a central role in reaching those targets.
But, in order to support the UK’s climate ambitions, low-carbon innovation must be accelerated. To do this, innovation policy needs to include strategic investment and early market support for key priority technologies; incentives for zero-carbon solutions across the economy; and support for businesses developing emerging zero-carbon goods and services.
Similarly, the costs and benefits of zero-carbon innovation must be distributed across income groups and regions in a way that is fair, to support a ‘just transition’.
This policy brief recommends that, as well as the above, the Government should introduce a net zero innovation strategy by November 2021, to follow-up the Prime Minister’s “10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution”, which was launched in November 2020.