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Net zero government inquiry launched

4 July 2019

The Environmental Audit Committee launches a new inquiry into net zero government. It will focus on the sustainability of the Government's estate and procurement processes and what action it needs to take to achieve its net zero emissions target by 2050 or sooner. 

MPs will examine how government targets should be set, enforced and monitored, whether it is leading by example in its own performance, and whether existing strategies are sufficiently robust to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote resource efficiency.

Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh MP said:

“It's not enough for the Government to talk the talk on net zero emissions by 2050, it must walk the walk and lower its own emissions to tackle the climate emergency.

“We'll be examining how the Government sets and performs against its own targets, such as ensuring its fleet of vehicles are ultra-low emissions, reducing waste and water use.

“Ministers must lead by example in setting out and delivering policies which can meet their ambitious targets. We have declared a climate emergency. Now is the time for Ministers to say how they will tackle it.”

Terms of reference

The Committee welcomes written evidence on some, or all, of the points below by 5pm on Thursday 15 August in no more than 3,000 words. You can submit evidence through the net zero government inquiry page. This inquiry will examine progress and actions required across the wider government estate.

Achieving a net zero government

  • What must be done to achieve a net zero government?
  • What time frame is required for government to achieve alignment with net zero emissions?
  • What challenges might government encounter as part of this process? How could these be overcome?
  • How should net zero targets be set, monitored and enforced?
  • What must government do to ensure a just transition and decent work as it moves its estate towards net zero?

Leadership and partnership

  • To what extent is government “leading by example” in aligning its estate and operations with net zero emissions?
  • What examples of good practice could government implement to become a net zero government?
  • How should the government work with the devolved administrations to achieve common goals across the UK?
  • How can the government report on and reduce its water use?
  • How can the government report on and reduce its carbon footprint?

Is government following its own advice?

  • Are existing government frameworks ambitious enough to meet the requirements set out by the Committee on Climate Change?
  • What must government do to achieve its Road to Zero target to make its entire fleet ultra-low emission by 2030?
  • What must be done to align the new set of Greening Government Commitments with a net zero government?
  • How can the government's estate be more climate friendly?
  • How should government drive behaviour change in staff to ensure greener, healthier workplaces?

Further information

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