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Net-Zero, Not Zero

20th June 2019

I am delighted with the UK Government’s recent announcement of an ambitious target to achieve net-zero contribution to climate change by 2050. As an advocate for the environment, I strongly believe that this is the right thing to do. If we can go beyond expectations and achieve this target sooner that would be fantastic.

This is a huge opportunity for the UK and we must make the most of it. Done right, the UK will transition into a world leader in low-carbon know-how and reap the economic benefits that come with it. Done wrong, and we’ll destroy years of effort at improving environmental outcomes which may destine the UK to global irrelevance.

One area to watch is in the waste sector. Innovative companies (such as BIG ATOM) are developing technologies that increase domestic recycling rates to prevent unnecessary export of our resources to countries where waste can be landfilled, incinerated or entered into the oceans. These efforts do require energy so pushing the industry to achieve full decarbonisation may result in stagnating recycling rates and ‘carbon leakage’ (exporting the carbon problem to countries with laxer standards). We must be wary of this risk to our goals and all work to ensure this doesn’t happen.

With the UK Government commissioning a Youth Steering Committee to guide policy on achieving this target, as an industry we must make our case to put the Circular Economy at the heart of their proposals. This will ensure we can achieve two great environmental goals that are integral to a more sustainable future. I look forward to meeting them and hearing their ideas.

Co-founder, BIG ATOM

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