Cranfield academics comment on the implications of the Government’s Ten-Point Plan released today, 18 November 2020.

Professor Leon A. Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood, said: "If the UK is to achieve Net Zero by 2050, we must focus on the industries and actions that will have the most impact.

“Key to the reduction of greenhouse gases is the partnership between Government, consumers and business. The Prime Minister’s announcement lists ten ambitious steps that the Government will take, but a vital component in achieving Net Zero is changing consumer behaviour and business practices such as reducing waste and reusing materials.  Decarbonisation is part of the solution. Reducing demand for imported emissions is also key.

“The Ten-Point Plan is welcomed and shows clear direction; however; it omits a number of key sectors that will be vital to reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions. For example, agriculture and food production is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases - there is a huge opportunity for the introduction of innovative technologies and business operations that will lower emissions, and reduce waste.”

Dr Rosina Watson, Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Cranfield School of Management, said: “Any step towards achieving Net Zero is welcome but the Ten-Point Plan does little to tackle changes in consumer behaviour that we need to see. Innovation and technology can take us a long way in reducing carbon emissions but we also need to see this accompanied by practical proposals that reduce the amount we consume and waste, and help us embrace a circular economy. Government could do this by incentivising both consumers and businesses to change their behaviours and practices, for example in the fashion industry by incentivising businesses that recycle and repair clothes.”

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