Net Zero Festival: BusinessGreen launches inaugural Net Zero Skills Summit

BusinessGreen staff
clock • 3 min read

Hosted in partnership with National Grid, new virtual conference on October 12th to explore how to build the skills base for the net zero transition

With less than two weeks to go to the launch of the world's first Net Zero Festival, BusinessGreen can today announce two exciting new virtual events that will form part of the inaugural Festival this autumn.

On the morning of October 12th BusinessGreen will stage the Net Zero Skills Summit in association with National Grid, bringing together top experts, business leaders, education practitioners, and graduates and apprentices to explore how the UK can best ensure it has the skills base necessary to accelerate the net zero transition.

Confirmed speakers for the half day virtual conference include National Grid executive director Nicola Shaw, head of the Environmental Justice Commission Luke Murphy, executive director at the Aldersgate Group of businesses Nick Molho, and Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport. Further speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Britain reached a major milestone last year as we saw zero carbon electricity outstrip fossil fuels for the first time," said Shaw. "But there's still a long way to go. As the pathway to net zero becomes clearer, so must our understanding of the jobs and skills we need to succeed.

"Our research shows that to deliver net zero, the energy industry needs to recruit hundreds of thousands of people over the next thirty years - and that really is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wider impact of net zero across other industries. The time is now for the sector to rise to the challenge and overcome the long-standing issues we face in recruiting a diverse workforce with the right skills to deliver on the UK's ambitions."

Hosted as part of the Net Zero Festival, which will come live from the BT Sport studios in London over three days from September 30th, the Net Zero Skills Summit will provide delegate with a chance to both hear from leading experts in skills development, policy, and recruitment, while also debating the practical steps businesses can take to address the looming net zero skills gap.

The Summit is free to attend and delegates can register for the event through the Net Zero Skills Summit website.

"The net zero transition will reshape every industry and every part of the economy, and the skills base will have to evolve accordingly," said BusinessGreen editor-in-chief James Murray. "There will be huge employment opportunities across the infrastructure, manufacturing, and environmental services sectors in particular, but without the right skills there is a risk the net zero transition could be slowed. The aim of the Net Zero Skills Summit is to provide a unique opportunity to explore how skills challenges can be addressed and how green jobs can play a central role in the economic recovery."

The news comes as BusinessGreen today also announced it will host a Net Zero Festival Preview on Monday September 28th, ahead of the full launch of the Net Zero Festival on Wednesday September 30th.

The interactive afternoon event will feature an interview with sustainable business guru and author of the new book Green Swans, John Elkington; a panel debate on how leading companies are declaring a climate emergency, featuring Ecotricity founder Dale Vince and Pukka Herbs Vicky Murray; and a live conversation with renowned environmental lawyer and activist Farhana Yamin.

"The Net Zero Festival Preview adds further to our stellar line up of over 100 top CEOs, executives, ministers, campaigners, and academics who will jointly explore the many challenges and opportunities presented by the net zero transition," said Murray. "With less than two weeks to go we'd urge anyone with an interest in the trends that will shape the economy for the next decade and beyond to register to attend."

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