09 May 2023: The inaugural Net Zero council has been established by the UK government with the aim of assisting industries in reducing their emissions and promoting the adoption of climate friendly practices. The meeting witnessed the presence of prominent figures from renowned banks, energy companies, technology giants and finance firms.

The council, jointly led by Energy Minister, Graham Stuart and Co-op Group chief executive, Shirine Khoury-Haq, aims to assist the industry in reducing their emissions and adopting more sustainable practices. Additionally, it will prioritise the government’s objective of fostering economic growth by facilitating opportunities for British businesses to capitalise on the UK’s renowned position in renewable technologies, achieving net zero, and exporting their expertise worldwide.

Siemens, SSE, HSBC, NatWest, and Lloyds of London are among the council members who will convene quarterly meetings with the aim of ensuring that businesses play a crucial role in attaining the objective of net zero.

Graham Stuart, Energy Minister 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.’’ He further added, ‘’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.’’

During the recent Council meeting, the focus was on the UK’s current global leadership in achieving net zero, as well as the significance of establishing a unified approach across government, finance and business sectors to bolster the net zero transition for key industries in the country.

The priority sectors identified for support and focus include construction, manufacturing, retail, water and waste, as well as the UK’s renowned university and r&d sectors. These sectors possess the capabilities to develop advanced technologies of the future, such as green aviation, hydrogen, CCUS and batteries.

The primary goals of the council are as follows:

  • Facilitating a clear pathway for sectors and companies to achieve net zero emissions, which involves examining the obstacles and interconnections between different sectors.
  • Taking the lead in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the financial obstacles and determining the roles of government, industry, and the financial sector in tackling these challenges.
  • Recognizing the significant challenges encountered by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) nationwide in reducing their carbon footprints, and providing them with updated information and advice to support their transition.

As the council commences its vital work, it holds the promise of shaping policies and driving transformative change, laying the groundwork for a greener, more resilient future for the UK and the rest of the world.