Briefing paper

This paper explores how much progress has been made towards reducing emissions in four key UK sectors – power and energy, built environment, road transport, and agriculture and land use. It examines why some of these sectors continue to lag behind and how they need to evolve, drawing insights from business leaders in those sectors – looking at the different experiences and challenges in each sector.

Key findings:

  • The scale of action by UK businesses is impressive. Since the start of 2020, there has been a four-fold increase in the number of UK businesses committing to the Science Based Targets initiative, and there are numerous further examples of large, medium and small businesses committing to reduce emissions individually or as part of sector-led plans. 
  • The analysis shows that the current level of ambition and commitment from business is not yet enough to deliver a resilient, net-zero future.
  • In some sectors like power, change is well underway, supported by effective business action, and the main need is to step up the pace and ambition of action
  • In transport, business and policy ambition are coming together to drive change but there is further to go on both fronts as progress to date has been slow
  • In the buildings sector, despite significant business action and a wide range of initiatives the overall pace of change is slow, with limited and unstable policy support.
  • In agriculture, there are strong examples of leadership, but business has not come together as a force for systemic change, and promising policy ambitions need to be urgently transformed into action. 
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