Skip to main content

Net Zero APPG Myth Busting Report – NIA Policy Summary

By August 31st, 2023No Comments

Net Zero APPG Myth Busting Report - NIA Summary

The Net Zero All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has published a report aimed at dispelling myths and misinformation surrounding the Net Zero transition. It highlights the need for accurate information and a shared understanding of the path towards Net Zero among policymakers, industry leaders and citizens. It emphasises the role of education, communication and behaviour change and notes the challenge of effectively communicating climate change issues – and the importance of using language that the general public can understand. Ultimately, the report aims to debunk myths, provide clarity, and drive real behaviour change to accelerate progress towards Net Zero.

The Net Zero APPG – Who are they?

The Net Zero APPG aims to accelerate the transition to a low carbon and affordable future, embed zero carbon solutions and achieve Net Zero growth and innovation, as a well as a carbon-neutral economy in the UK. The APPG promotes cross-party debate, consensus, and support to effectively address the climate change challenges. Their overarching aim is to unlock green innovation investment and incentives while driving better communication and changing the narrative surrounding Net Zero.

Why the narrative needs to change?

In the foreword of the report, Lord Deben summarises why the narrative needs to change:

  • Terms related to climate change are not well understood, such as ‘retrofit,’ ‘modelling,’ and ‘sequestration.’
  • People struggle to grasp concepts like ‘kilowatt-hour’ because it cannot be felt, touched or seen.
  • To engage people, it is more effective to discuss how climate change affects their bills and emphasisethe financial benefits of home improvements that save energy.
  • Statistics need to be translated into relatable experiences for the audience, for example understanding that just over 1°C of warming can have a significant impact on global weather patterns and can cause extremely hot weather.
  • Experts have historically prioritised scientific communication over effective public engagement – this needs to change to build public support for Net Zero.
  • Lack of understanding of climate change terminology can lead to the spread of myths.
  • The language we use to talk about climate change is crucial because it influences people’s actions.

Debunking some Net Zero Myths

In tackling the challenge of achieving Net Zero in the UK, the APPG makes clear that it is important to address the misconceptions, misinformation and myths surrounding the climate change narrative.

To accelerate behaviour change and promote informed decision making, effective communication is paramount and while it may not always be possible to completely dispel every myth, the Net Zero Myth Busting Report aims to provide policymakers with better information. The report seeks to highlight areas of consensus and identify the key areas that warrant greater debate and clarity from Government so that there is a more accurate understanding of the challenges and solutions on the road to Net Zero.

Myths highlighted in the Net zero appg myth busting report

#1 Net Zero is bad for growth and pushes up costs

#2 Getting to net zero costs

#3 We don’t have the green skills and jobs we need to scale up and get to net zero

#4 Our cities are bad for the environment

#5 Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is counterproductive and unnecessary

#6 Nuclear power isn’t a clean energy source too much money

#7 Renewable energy is too reliant on the weather, and too expensive

#8 It’s just not possible to make all homes energy efficient

#9 Tenants jump at the chance to retrofit their homes if it’s free

#10 Heat pumps are too expensive and don’t work in old properties or in cold temperatures

#11 Green hydrogen is the ‘silver bullet’ for Net Zero Homes and buildings

#12 Consumers will always choose the sustainable option

#13 It’s too expensive to electrify our railways

#14 We need more electric vehicle charging points to match demand

#15 We don’t need more road capacity to reach Net Zero

#16 All buses must be Net Zero emission if we are going to reach our decarbonisation target

#17 Hydrogen plans will deliver Net Zero aviation

#18 Jet Zero won’t happen and can’t be delivered by 2050

#19 Focusing on reaching Net Zero by 2050 is enough to tackle the climate emergency

#20 It’s too hard to decarbonise our Ports

#21 The UK will need to import plant- based alternatives to replace its meat and dairy products to reach Net Zero

#22 We just need to reduce carbon to get to Net Zero

#23 Recycling is the best way for me to do my bit for the planet

A Summary of Recommendations

After reviewing the report and examining the myths and recommendations, we have identified the key insights relevant to energy efficiency in buildings. The relevant myths, ‘myth busts’ and recommendations are shown in the table below. Please note that each response reflects the opinion of the author and not the collective view of the Net Zero APPG and its supporters.