Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 64

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The UK ’ s Net Zero Strategy : Build Back Greener

In this Executive Summary from the Government ’ s recently released Net Zero Strategy , policymakers outline what underpins the plans for the way forward and the results of the Ten Point Plan ahead of the upcoming COP26 summit .
What is net zero and why do we need to act ?
From heating our homes to filling up our cars , burning fossil fuels releases the greenhouses gases that increase global temperatures . We are already seeing the effects here in the UK , with devastating floods in the West Midlands in January and torrential downpours submerging London Underground stations earlier this summer .
People are rightly concerned , with the latest IPCC report showing that if we fail to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels , the floods and fires we have seen around the world this year will get more frequent and more fierce , crops will be more likely to fail , and sea levels will rise driving mass migration as millions are forced from their homes . Above 1.5 ° C we risk reaching climatic tipping points like the melting of arctic permafrost – releasing millennia of stored greenhouse gases – meaning we could lose control of our climate for good .
But the good news is that there is , still , a path to avoid catastrophic climate change . The science could not be clearer : by the middle of this century the world has to reduce emissions to as close to zero as possible , with the small amount of remaining emissions absorbed through natural carbon sinks like forests , and new technologies like carbon capture . If we can achieve this , global emissions of greenhouse gases will be ‘ net zero ’.
Delivering this requires urgent global action , including ending coal fired power generation , retiring petrol and diesel engines from all cars , and halting deforestation . These are the steps that the UK is calling for at COP26 , the global climate change talks in Glasgow next month .
Why should the UK act first ? Since 1990 the UK has almost halved our greenhouse gas emissions . Thanks to the efforts of successive governments , we are almost half-way to ending the UK ’ s domestic contribution to man-made climate change , and in 2019 the UK became the first major economy in the world to legislate to finish the job with a binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 .
We are proud to lead the world in ending our own contribution to climate change , not just because it is the right thing to do , but because we are determined to seize the unprecedented economic opportunity it brings . We want to build back better from the pandemic by building back greener and levelling up our country with new high skilled , high wage , sustainable jobs in every part of our United Kingdom .
Removing dirty fossil fuels will require the transformation of every sector of the global economy . It means no longer burning fossil fuels for power or heating ; it means new ways of making concrete , cement , steel ; it means the end of the petrol and diesel engine . These changes are already beginning to happen . Renewable energy is now the cheapest source of power across two-thirds of the globe . Clean , cheap power is already driving the decarbonisation of heavy industry around the world . Almost all major car companies are now developing or producing zero emissions vehicles as battery technology improves and costs reduce .
The question is whether the new clean machinery of the net zero future will be “ made elsewhere ” or “ made in Britain ”. By moving first , the UK can get ahead of the pack and make the birthplace of the industrial revolution the home of the new Green Industrial Revolution .
Indeed , as we produce more of our own electricity – from wind farms in the North Sea and state-of-the-art British nuclear reactors – families will be much better protected from energy price spikes caused by volatile international fossil fuel markets . At the same time , by getting ahead of the curve
SPECIAL FEATURE : SUSTAINABILITY
THE UK ' S NET ZERO STRATEGY : BUILD BACK GREENER
65 COMMITTEE CONTENT REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR Paola Morris Director of Business Administration, Dulwich College (Singapore) and BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee member Member Discounts To find how to redeem our member-exclusive offers, visit britcham.org.sg/member-dis- counts. Member login may be required. Listings are correct as of date of publication. 2021 continued to be a year where face-to-face communication remained difficult. In the areas of professional development learning and staff wellbeing, we had to rely heavily on digital platforms for staff engagement. At Dulwich College (Singapore), we had to adapt our PLD offerings, using online coaching and moving to webinar options and online sessions. Whilst face- to-face workshops and activities were the norm before the pandemic, there is now an array of facilitator-led online training, one-on-one virtual employee coaching, and online self-paced e-learning options for staff. These options were all utilized to ensure staff continued on their professional learning journeys. With staff working from home for extended periods, self- paced e-learning was vital as it allowed staff the flexibility to access it whenever suited them. In the area of staff wellbeing, the College focused on providing more emotional support for employees in 2021. This was crucial as most expat staff had not travelled home for almost two years. For all staff, the various restrictions in place and the uncertainty created frustration and anxiety with no end to the pandemic in sight. Examples of support provided included wellbeing webinars on topics such as mental health, online yoga and mindfulness classes, and virtual counselling sessions. As the pandemic has stretched on to another academic year, ‘virtual fatigue’ is a serious issue, with endless online meetings and most activities, including PLD, having moved online. Collaboration and interaction among coworkers in online settings is ultimately different from in-person activities, and has its drawbacks and limitations. With some lifting in the restrictions, we are re-starting face-to-face PLD with an Away Day in October for mid-level management focusing on Strategic Plan drafting and agile leadership. We certainly hope 2022 will allow for more in-person learning and collaborative opportunities to return. Cecilia Leong-Faulkner Founder and Managing Director, British Theatre Playhouse and BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee member COVID has driven change in our company. The hardest part was staying calm while surrounded by chaos. But it also allowed us to reflect, question and challenge ourselves. In line with the trends in the market, we launched the British Theatre Playhouse Academy, offering Masterclasses and workshops in leadership, team building, business communications, and video confer- ence presentations delivered by acclaimed British actor, author of best-selling book SPEAK SO YOUR AUDIENCE WILL LISTEN, and communication coach, Robin Kermode. The pandemic has forced us to accelerate digital transformation and a culture of continual learning. We are excited about our digital journey and future! Life's ups and downs have provided windows of oppor- tunity to determine our values, goals and character. Stuart Farrell Founder and Managing Director, 8SQUARE Consulting and BritCham Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee member 2021 was a year where business leaders met new and greater challenges. They took responsibility for societal and environmen- tal issues. They reacted decisively and promptly to changes in circumstances. While some politicians around the world played fast and loose with the truth, business got on with it. They reinvented the norms of work and mitigated the impact of COVID, mental health and threats to local community. 2021 was a great and challenging year for leadership. To find out more about the work of this committee, catch up on earlier content and access upcoming events, click here. MEMBER DISCOUNTS