EAC warns of mixed signals as gov declines quarterly net zero target updates

The government has confirmed it won’t introduce quarterly reports around net zero targets despite the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)’s recommendation to do so.

MPs from the EAC recommended that the government introduce updates while it rolls out new North Sea oil and gas licences to avoid sending out “mixed signals” to the market regarding decarbonisation plans.

The EAC published a report in November which also called for companies to have mandatory transition plans for net zero and argued that the current ‘comply or explain’ approach defeated the point of the policy as a company could disclose by simply not having a transition plan.

However, the government declined to engage with this recommendation.

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EAC char Philip Dunne said: “The committee warned in November that mixed signals from government in terms of net zero policy risked undermining further progress.

“From mandatory transition plans to offering companies greater clarity on net zero investment in sectors across the economy, there is plenty the government can be doing to enhance the UK’s standing.

“So much of the journey to Net Zero Britain hinges on the private sector playing a key part and the government must be clear and unwavering in setting out the roadmaps for achieving its environmental objectives.

“While there have been several positive moves in recent months – including the funding boost for the boiler upgrade scheme which the committee had called for – there are clear risks to making meaningful policy progress arising from outstanding government consultations due to a looming general election.”

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