Net Zero Festival Spotlight: Shaun Spiers, Green Alliance executive director

BusinessGreen staff
clock • 2 min read
Net Zero Festival Spotlight: Shaun Spiers, Green Alliance executive director

Leading green economy figures offer their candid views on what net zero means to them ahead of the Net Zero Festival 2021

What are your net zero priorities for the year ahead? Green Alliance's Net Zero Policy Trackers will continue to monitor UK government policies and spending commitments and the extent to which it's on track to meet its net zero commitments. We will also be turning a spotlight on the credibility of plans for greenhouse gas removal, particularly through changes to land use.

If you weren't working where you are currently, where would you be working? I'm torn between Newmarket and Las Vegas.

What excites you most about the net zero transition? That we can do it, and if we do it right we will not only help avert the worst of climate change, but actually improve people's lives.

What part of the net zero transition is too often overlooked? The credibility of plans for carbon removal. There's a lot of double counting and wishful thinking. We need a credible Office for Carbon Removal.

What keeps you awake at night? Age.

Will we achieve net zero emissions by 2050? I hope so. But I hope we will do it in a way that helps to the world transition in an equitable way. Climate change isn't just a British problem, nor is it just an environmental issue, it exacerbates existing inequalities.

What are you looking forward to at the Net Zero Festival? Lots - speakers like Michael Mann and Amber Rudd; the sessions on engaging the public, avoiding greenwash and just transition; and listening to Claire O'Neill and Tim Lord in the session I'm in.

What would your net zero superpower be? Making the politicians who have committed to it realise that it won't be easy: net zero can't just be an add on to existing policies and ways of doing politics, it needs the wholehearted commitment of people across government, starting with the Chancellor.

How do you unwind after a long day helping advance the net zero transition? I fall asleep over an improving book.

Shaun Spiers is executive director of environmental think tank Green Alliance

Have you secured your tickets for the Net Zero Festival 2021 yet? Interested parties can sign up now for a free pass here

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