February 22, 2022

The Sixth Carbon Budget will define the UK’s Net Zero legacy. Why?

Authored by
Project Etopia
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In the very first of our new content series, Etopia reveals the background to how we are benchmarking our Net Zero journey, hastening UK sustainability progress and funding.

Not everyone has heard of the Sixth Carbon Budget, but it is essential to progressing Net Zero for UK corporates.

Announced in early 2021, The Carbon Budget sets in law the UK’s climate change targets, namely cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

And further, it promises to bring the UK more than three-quarters of the way to Net Zero by 2050. As such it will be the defining tool that leads businesses to manage their emissions far more sustainably.

Of course, this isn’t just about creating targets. The much-welcomed numbers also require definitive actions. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget report is now available. This calls for businesses to adopt low carbon solutions and for UK electricity production to be zero carbon by 2035, among countless other recommendations.

The CCC’s Chief Executive, Chris Stark, has said: “I am delighted at this news; this is an important and historic decision.
“In committing to cut emissions by almost 80% in 2035, the UK has taken its place at the forefront of global efforts to reach Net Zero – crucial in the fight against climate change. The Government’s decision rests on the most comprehensive ever assessment of the path to a fully decarbonised economy.”

He calls for businesses and people up and down the country to throw their full weight behind the actions needed to get us to Net Zero.

So, the legislative and policy frameworks are now defined. What remains is for individual businesses, like Etopia, to set out and publicise Net Zero approaches and commit to pushing the right agenda at the necessary pace.

The imperative for progress; now

Etopia comprehensively welcomes both The Carbon Budget and the advisory papers that accompany it. We believe that together, the moves represent a step change for UK housing and buildings to massively up their game, delivering on both retrofit and new low carbon homes at unprecedented pace and scale.

“There are massive opportunities to leverage The Carbon Budget to create momentum across Net Zero housing,” comments Joseph Michael Daniels, Founder and CEO, Etopia.
“In particular, I believe The Carbon Budget puts in place the necessary boundaries to enable a drive for sustainability based on partnerships that secure green funding, through accreditation and the suitability of technologies against Net Zero criteria.
“I passionately feel that addressing embodied, operational and organisational carbon criteria when looking at the lifecycle of products or technology is the future.
“In this way, we can as a country direct money at the most telling parts of the climate crisis, while growing sustainable business and sustainable jobs; a no brainer.”

A sector-wide promise for sustainability

At Etopia, we are calling for the sector as a whole to embrace The Carbon Budget and respond in kind with strategies and definitions for individual Net Zero pathways. Some of our competitors are already doing this, but we must all do more.

As for us, we are benchmarking the performance of our houses and our technologies right now, constantly refining and improving them to ensure our efforts hit the most relevant and ambitious low carbon metrics.

There really is no excuse for legacy approaches to business to persist any longer. Every single UK company should be proving out its strategy for Net Zero and defining its impacts on carbon across organisation, supply chain, operations and more.

Those who do this transparently have nothing to fear; rather they have exciting transitions to look forward to. They will be able to access plenty of green finance, fast, to rollout their low carbon solutions safe in the knowledge the appropriate carbon metrics and accreditations have been defined.

And as a whole, the country will transition to a solid backbone of sustainable businesses, acting with passion and purpose on Net Zero. Finance and partnership, truth and solid research will be the tools to unlocking the very best of futures.