A think tank has cautioned that the UK is falling behind its international counterparts in efforts of sustainable economic growth.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the UK is moving backwards, unable to fully capitalise on the economic prospects associated with the transition to a net-zero emissions society due to the absence of a comprehensive green industrial strategy.
The report also highlights Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent withdrawal of certain net-zero policies, a move that sets the UK apart from other major powers actively supporting the transition.
The IPPR’s analysis indicates that public investment in the net-zero economy in the UK falls short, with commitments to invest in clean-energy technology ranking among the lowest within the G7 group of advanced Western economies.
The absence of collaborative efforts between public research, strategic investment, and industry coordination is notably evident in the UK, the report says.
The analysis further reveals a disparity between the contribution of green goods and services to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared to other European countries.
In the UK, this sector contributes only 3.9% to GDP, while the EU registers 5.8% and Sweden reaches around 11%.
The report asserts that the transition to a net-zero economy has the potential to boost the UK’s GDP by up to 2.4% and generate 1.6 million jobs by 2030. However, it points out that the absence of an industrial strategy and insufficient public investment hinder the nation’s ability to seize this opportunity.
Luke Murphy, associate director of the IPPR, commented on the situation, stating, “The UK is at a critical crossroads. While other nations are making progress in the global push for sustainability, the UK appears to be regressing. The lack of a robust green industrial strategy not only represents a missed economic opportunity but also a failure to fulfil our global responsibility in addressing climate change. We must chart a new course that harnesses the potential of green growth to drive job creation, innovation, and sustainable prosperity. Every day of inaction comes at the cost of valuable jobs, technological advancements, and a sustainable future.”