Jim Coleman, Head of Economics at WSP, said: “In December, the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget made it clear how important the role of every individual in the UK will be if we are to meet our 2050 net zero target. There is much we can do in our day-to-day lives to make a difference but support from Government is welcome.
“As such, the introduction of the sovereign green savings bond is an exciting prospect and will allow people to take an active role in the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, by investing in sectors which are directly contributing to our low carbon future. We must bring everyone on this journey and initiatives such as this will be helpful.
“One area where we still need clarity is on the skills which are needed to deliver a net zero economy. The Prime Minister has announced previously that the Government will create and support up to 250,000 green jobs which is certainly promising, but we must identify exactly what skills are required in which industries quickly.
“The public, private and education sectors must work cohesively and at speed in what will be a monumental effort to upskill and reskill this future workforce. As we recover from COVID-induced recession, the net zero pathway must be used a major lever in getting more people into new low carbon industries.
“A particular highlight from today’s Budget was the announcement to establish eight new freeports in England, including Felixstowe and Harwich which WSP’s economic advisory team supported. Freeports confirm the Government’s commitment to levelling up and boosting regional economies, and in our post-Brexit economy, freeports have the potential to attract inward investment, increase trade and create jobs in higher-value industries. What we must remember, however, is that despite the competitive bidding process to become a freeport, those that are successful must now work together in order to benefit an integrated UK economy.”