In March 2021, researchers at The Grantham Institute published a briefing on principles for a cost-effective and fair transition to Net Zero in the UK. Being one of five Global Institutes at Imperial College London, the Institute brings together climate and global environmental change expertise from across the College for climate change related research and translation into real world impact.
The briefing explains why the UK government needs to take a joined-up approach to decarbonising the economy and considers the broad range of measures that must be taken by Her Majesty’s Treasury in order to enable the behaviour changes needed to transition to net zero.
The research highlights in particular the fact that the Treasury’s consideration of spending should embrace a broad range of measures to enable behaviour change for Net Zero including, but not limited to, fiscal policy. It also points out that supporting behaviour change should aim to lower financial, information and social barriers in a fair and consistent manner and could take advantage of better use of data and digital tools.
The paper also supports that principles for decision-making should recognise the value of fostering positive feedback effects that build momentum in behavioural shifts and in system-wide change, for example by supporting the emergence of new social norms, innovation and early adopters and leveraging co-benefits.