The Treasury’s ‘mini-Budget’ has left no doubt in my mind that the UK's recovery from Covid-19 will go hand-in-hand with our progress on sustainability.
Whilst investment into efficient buildings is a welcome step in the right direction, I can’t help but compare this to France and Germany, whose economic recovery plans include significant funding and a raft of measures to incentivise citizens to move to battery-powered cars.
With road transport being the largest contributor to UK greenhouse gas emissions, the UK can, indeed, learn from these countries’ no-nonsense approach to accelerate the adoption of clean transport.
Innovative companies are already laying the foundations for a future that is defined by smart, connected and sustainable mobility. Zipcar, for example, has pledged that its fleet of rental vehicles will be fully electric by 2025. Centrica Mobility Ventures is currently working with car manufacturers to support their dealership networks on EV readiness. And Shell New Energies is in the midst of developing an extensive charging ecosystem that will meet the needs of EV drivers without stressing the broader power grid.
But the transition of consumer, industrial and commercial vehicles is complex, and will require significant investment and education from both government and industry in the years to come. In-house comms teams will play a vital role in communicating the importance of incentivising sustainability as part of economic recovery.
With the environmental stakes so high, we must not simply shift into 'recovery' mode following the pandemic. Instead we must place focus on transitioning to a more sustainable, future-proofed recovery.
“The £3 billion announcement on energy efficiency is an important start but it can only be a beginning and is dwarfed by green recovery commitments in Germany and France.” “We need more and sustained investment in energy efficiency, transport and nature than we got today.”