Chris Skidmore: Net zero is the economic opportunity of the decade, and the UK should lead on it

L to R: IfS Operations Director Francesca Guiso Gallisai, Chris Skidmore MP and
L to R: IfS Operations Director Francesca Guiso Gallisai, Chris Skidmore MP and IfS Director Professor Matthew Davidson

Chris Skidmore MP was a guest speaker at last week’s Institute for Sustainability Summer Showcase.

Author of the Independent Government Review of Net Zero, The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE MP, says the UK has a -moral imperative- to show leadership on achieving net zero emissions by 2050, whilst speaking at the University of Bath’s Institute for Sustainability Summer Showcase last week.

Skidmore, who was recently appointed Professor of Practice at the University, focussing on Net Zero Policy, presented a plenary lecture on Monday 12th July in which he stated Net Zero targets should not simply be environmental policy, but also seen as an opportunity for economic growth. He also talked about the role of the circular economy.

He said: -Waste is caused by a lack of imagination - we need a holistic approach to the circular economy and depoliticise our net zero targets so that everyone can commit to actions toward a common goal.

-Instead of waiting for central Government to take legislative action, which can be time-consuming, we should be empowering local Government to be able to pursue targets regionally.

-A part of my new professorship at Bath, I’m looking forward to working alongside leading academic practitioners on net zero policymaking and the energy transition.-

The Summer Showcase is an annual event hosted by the Institute, inviting academics and industry to learn about the latest developments in sustainable chemical research. This year, the Showcase celebrated the research of current students in the Institute’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Chemical Technologies as well as inviting former students back to share their professional journey and achievements since graduating from the CDT.

The two-day event also included poster sessions and the award of the Janet Scott Prize, in memory of the late Professor Janet Scott who was Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Training Director at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies.

Co-Director of the Institute, Professor Matthew Davidson, said: -It was an honour to host Chris Skidmore at the Institute’s Showcase event following his recent appointment as a Professor of Practice at the University.

"It is vital that our researchers and partners appreciate the policy environment in which they are working in order to maximise positive societal impacts of their work.

"Professor Skidmore’s lecture provided a superb and authoritative summary and we very much look forward to working closely with him in the future to build on his influential review.-