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January 26, 2024

Citizens not confident UK will hit its net zero deadline, says Deloitte

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The survey found that few UK citizens expect to make profound lifestyle changes to live sustainably, while many view net zero as ‘someone else’s problem’ (Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters)

A survey of UK adults including public sector leaders has revealed scepticism over the country’s ability to meet its net zero objective

Seven out of 10 UK citizens do not believe the country will achieve its 2050 net zero target, according to a Deloitte survey, which also recognises that the government is “feeling the first bumps” on its way to net zero.

A survey of 5,815 adults conducted by Deloitte and pollster Ipsos UK, along with 100 public sector leaders, has revealed a lack of belief in the country’s ability to meet its net zero ambitions. Few people expect to make profound lifestyle changes to live sustainably, while many view net zero as “someone else’s problem”, the survey shows.

Officials interviewed in the survey — including senior civil servants and council chief executives — told Deloitte the UK government’s watering down of its net zero trajectory last year “was a ‘recalibration’ of plans rather than a change of end goal”. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a slowdown in the UK’s adoption of some policies, including a delay to the planned ban of new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035.

The officials say the net zero transition will be expensive, and some called for the government to better engage with private investors to obtain the capital required to fund green infrastructure.

The report emphasised the importance of engaging the public in the long haul on net zero, and the need to set out a road map with long-term financing plans and to increase green skills with greater investment.

You can find the report here.

A service from the Financial Times