Leading experts urge the Prime Minister to replicate the push for a Covid vaccine in the search for climate solutions.
Over 230 Covid-19 vaccinations are now in development across the world, representing an incredible feat of what innovation can achieve.
Following on from this success, leading experts including CBI director-general John Cridland and UCL Professor Paul Ekins, have written to the Prime Minister urging him to use this momentum to search for climate solutions.
The UK is ranked as the fourth most innovative economy in the world, but the experts warn that it lags well behind other economies such as the US, Germany and Japan and without change, it risks losing out in the fast-growing green markets, something which is incredibly important at a time when the country is in need of developing new trade opportunities.
Based on this the leaders have urged the PM that a shift towards green innovation is needed.
The letter calls for a new Green Innovation and Sustainability Transformation Council and a new programme that matches government ambition for a green industrial revolution with a new more comprehensive approach to green innovation.
As part of this programme, the leaders have suggested that the government should tap into the UK’s strong track record in pioneering ‘regulatory sandboxes’ to co-design regulation for new low carbon solutions.
They have also suggested that the government should use pre-commercial public procurement as a way to strengthen the market for green alternatives, enabling the private sector to invest with confidence.
Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at UCL and director of the GIPC, said: ‘The climate and Covid crises are very different – but they are both crises, and so far the push for rapid scale-up of climate solutions has seen nothing like the scale of efforts that was put into developing a Covid vaccine.
‘Now is exactly the moment when the government should be doubling down, making the most of public support for decarbonisation and the need for economic stimulus to futureproof our economy. We can’t afford to address decarbonisation a few technologies at a time, we need progress across the board, in less glamorous areas like water treatment as much as in showy new infrastructure.’
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