UK creates new green rules for government contracts

UK Government contracts, uk cop26
© Michael Sheridan

According to the changes, beginning 30 September, companies bidding for government contracts worth over £5 million must commit to Net Zero emissions by 2050

The new rules, implemented 30 September, come in ahead of COP26 – the global climate conference set to be hosted by the UK in November. The host country is expected to show a pragmatic and meaningful dedication to stopping climate change, while presenting solutions that could work.

The European Commission also recently published new policy missions, pushing for “climate resilience” by 2030. 

Government spends £290 billion a year on contracts

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said: “Government spends £290billion a year on procurement and it’s right that we use this spending power to green the economy.”

The new rules will require a commitment to Net Zero by 2050, the reporting of emissions – from business travel to employee commuting. The push to decarbonise governmental supply chains include all central government departments, and non-departmental public bodies.

Andrew Griffith, UK Net Zero Business COP Champion, said: “The message to businesses is clear – engaging on net zero is no longer an option but a necessity from today, with businesses large and small now needing firm climate plans and commitments in place to supply major government contracts.”

Keeping an eye on competition

However, 95% of renewable energy capacity happens in the world’s richest countries. This issue means that decarbonisation will be significantly more difficult in Global South regions.

“The divide between early and late decarbonizers threatens to become exacerbated in the coming years, with early movers in renewables R&D and production accruing clear economic benefits, in part in terms of job creation,” said Laima Eicke, a researcher on the renewable sources study.

“Late decarbonizers, by contrast, face significantly higher transformation risks over the coming ten years, including potentially lower industrial competitiveness and a higher risk of economic instability.”


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