Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on green recovery post-pandemic

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has published a report outlining how the UK should ‘grow back better,’ putting nature and net zero at the heart of the economic recovery. 

The focus of the report is using the covid-19 pandemic and the following economic downturn as an opportunity for growth and development, where ecological goals and environmental targets are at the centre of the UK recovery 

Urging the Chancellor to use the budget in March as a springboard to kick off the UK’s green industrial revolution and incorporating green taxation, the EAC says it could help ‘direct investment into job-rich low carbon activity, shift behaviour and increase resource and energy efficiency.’  

The report highlights the following areas as crucial for green development: 

Transport  

Clean electricity generation has increased over the past decade, however the UK needs to focus on decarbonising transport. The stimulus plan is an opportunity to accelerate investment on nature recovery, climate adaptation and cutting emissions to net zero. 

Further growth in the use of electric vehicles should be encouraged with tax incentives to ensure uptake is affordable, balancing this with the necessary investment in automotive manufacturing to ensure demand and growth can be maintained. 

Infrastructure  

Infrastructure investment should now be planned with consideration to UK net zero targets, impacts on biodiversity and future projections for changes in climate. This should include embodies carbon targets for new homes to increase demand for more sustainable building materials. 

Air pollution 

Cutting carbon and developing infrastructure to increase accessibility walking or cycling in cities will be a more pressing concern for many after seeing the links between mortality from covid-19 and air pollution. This, whilst developing transport, can improve health and fitness and meeting the UK’s air quality, biodiversity protection and climate change targets.  

"This report outlines the opportunities of a green recovery that can ensure job creation within the environmental sector while moving towards the ambitious targets set out in the Environment Bill."

Charlotte Briggs, Policy and Engagement Lead at Clarity Environmental

Charlotte Briggs, Policy and Engagement Lead at Clarity Environmental, commented: 

“This report outlines the opportunities of a green recovery that can ensure job creation within the environmental sector, while moving towards the ambitious targets set out in the Environment Bill. It is encouraging to see investment in relation to the UK net zero targets, but it would also be prudent to include the need for investment in domestic reprocessing for recycling and growth in the rates of recycling.  

“With the changes to the Resources and Waste Strategy expected in 2023, many of the goals laid out in the Environment Bill will need to be supported by recycling capacity growthconsistency in kerbside collections and improved data collection. Using green taxation, as suggested in the EAC report, must be used to support other measures such as the Plastic Packaging Tax and a Deposit Return System (DRS). 

 

Is your business ready to go green? 

If your business is putting over 50 tonnes of packaging on the UK market, you could be obligated by the UK Packaging Regulations. The packaging sector is facing unprecedented change which could see costs rising. Let our team of packaging experts guide your compliance, advise on how the Resources and Waste Strategy may affect you how to approach changes to your business to future-proof and become greener. 

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