A leading group of University of Manchester academics are imploring policy makers to use the UK’s post-pandemic recovery as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a positive green revolution.

The UK is slowly easing COVID-19 restrictions and has recently announced financial aid to stimulate economic recovery including a £3bn plan to cut emissions. Now a collaborative group of leading scientists are imploring governments the world over to use this moment in history to turn towards a vastly more sustainable, green future.

In a new publication, On Net Zero, recommendations ranging from; emissions reductions, economic incentives and new technologies have been put forward. The report brings together some of the country’s leading energy, policy, and climate change experts to offer their opinions and solutions for the UK’s most pressing energy issues, including new data as a result of global lockdown restrictions.

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, who wrote the foreword for On Net Zero commented: “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address these urgent challenges together; it’s there for the taking. The steps that the UK takes to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic can accelerate the transition to a successful and low-carbon economy and improve our climate resilience. Choices that lock in emissions or climate risks are unacceptable.”

Professor Carly McLachlan is the Director of Tyndall Manchester, one of the founding partners of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: “Analysis of the impact on emissions of various lockdown orders across the world has demonstrated an average global reduction of 17%.

“The analysis estimates that even if some restrictions remain in place to the end of 2020, the overall reduction in emissions for the year will only be 3-13%. While this does tell us that we can do things differently and that it does have an impact, it also indicates how deeply embedded the use of fossil fuels is in our lives. Even when our lives ‘feel’ very different – they are still powered by fossil fuels.

“Our recovery must support structural change that addresses the way we power our lives – all levels from the individual, to business, to the energy system, to government policy must be aligned to deliver the significant reductions we need.”


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