From education to employment

Government holds first Net Zero Council

  • The leaders of some of the world’s leading banks, energy companies, technology giants and finance firms are among those to have attended the first-ever meeting of the Net Zero Council today.
  • Co-chaired by Energy Minister Graham Stuart and Coop Group chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq, the Council will support industry to help cut their emissions, and develop greener practices – as well as delivering on the government’s priority to grow the economy by finding ways to ensure British businesses can benefit from the UK’s world-leading position in renewable technologies and achieving net zero, and export their expertise globally.
  • Siemens, SSE, HSBC and NatWest as well as Lloyds of London are among those on the Council, and will be meeting on a quarterly basis to ensure businesses are a key part of achieving net zero.

Energy Minister Graham Stuart said:

“The Net Zero Council provides the high-level forum for government, business and finance leaders to work together to unlock the opportunities of the green transition. 

“Tackling emissions can make businesses more energy efficient, improve UK energy security and, in turn, cut costs. It can open up opportunities to export UK developed solutions around the world, expand UK market share and create jobs.

“The UK has cut its emissions more than any other major economy and the Net Zero Council – meeting today for the first time – will ensure that leaders of UK businesses can help guide government and vice versa so that our environmental leadership translates into economic advantage. 

“The Net Zero Council includes some of the most senior business and finance leaders in the country. I am grateful that such extraordinary people are prepared to contribute their knowledge, experience and talent for the benefit of both this country and future generations.”

  • In 2020 the UK was estimated to already have over 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the country, with turnover at £41.6 billion. Over 80,000 green jobs are currently being supported or are in the pipeline because of new government policies since 2020, with that expected to increase to as many as 480,000 in 2030.

The key objectives of the council are:

  • Working to ensure sectors and companies have a pathway to net zero, including looking at the barriers and connections across sectors.
  • Leading a systematic review of the financing challenges and the respective roles of Government, industry and the financial sector in addressing them.
  • Identifying key challenges facing SMEs up and down the country in reducing their carbon footprints and supporting their transition with new information and advice.

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