• Paris Climate Agreement
  • Climate Change
  • Decarbonization
  • Climate Action
  • Net Zero Energy Consumption

Britain’s Sustainable Markets Initiative Aims for Net Zero

Pritil Gunjan
Feb 10, 2020

Solar 3

As world leaders converged in Davos, Switzerland for the 50th annual meeting off the World Economic Forum, the key theme for 2020 (stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world) resonated across all global, regional, and industry specific agendas. Most stakeholders agreed that the progress toward the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals will not be easy but committed to making a bold leap of faith for a net-zero transition. 

The Sustainable Markets Initiative

Several countries at the forum highlighted the urgency of robust and long-term strategic plans. This included the UK, which, in collaboration with the World Economic Council, is determined to do its best to figure out how to save the planet. Despite low attendance from UK delegates, Britain was represented by HRH Prince Charles. At the forum, he highlighted biodiversity, global warming, and climate change as the greatest threats to humanity while also launching his Sustainable Markets Initiative. The Sustainable Markets Initiative is designed to ensure economic growth is inclusive of people and planet. To decarbonize the global economy, the initiative identifies three critical market transitions:

  • A dramatic shift in corporate business models

  • An aligned, incentivized, and mobilized financial system 

  • An enabling environment that attracts investment and incentivizes action 

Building Sustainable Markets

Building Sustainable Markets: The current system is no longer fit for purpose

(Source: Sustainable Markets)

In this framework, taxes and policies are key enablers for companies to work toward sustainable business practices. Additionally, creating a transparent supply chain and investing in sustainable technologies are key to realizing benefits of this initiative. The initiatives discussed at the World Economic Forum reiterate the need for global leaders to take responsibility and steer the world economy. The climate emergency can only be dealt with by using strong political actions.

Climate-Neutral Future of Europe

Europe is likely to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, believes climate change can be tackled effectively by establishing a level playing field on carbon emissions and trade. While there is skepticism that introducing a carbon tariff on trade and implementation of tax policies would require unanimous agreement among EU member states, the world must adopt urgent steps to ramp up efforts for the net-zero transition. A net-zero transition requires deep reductions in emissions, with any remaining sources offset by removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For the energy sector, the 2050 pathway to 100% decarbonization requires greater integration of low carbon technologies, substantial investments in renewable energy sources, acceleration in digital innovation, optimization across a resilient grid, and flexibility within the energy infrastructure.