Humans have long innovated their way out of adversity, and now it’s time for tech to take on one of the greatest challenges of our time.
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to commit to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
It is one of the most ambitious targets in the world. But government cannot do this alone. We need the smartest thinkers and most audacious entrepreneurs to help us get there.
That’s why we’re booting up our fight against climate change and backing a new Tech Zero Taskforce, which I officially launched yesterday alongside the bosses of some of the UK’s biggest and most innovative companies.
Led by Bulb, the taskforce will see leading firms from across the UK join forces to accelerate plans to reduce emissions, boost green investment in the UK and help millions of customers they serve make greener choices.
Bulb, Babylon Health, Vodafone, Monzo and Olio are among those who have already signed up. Their work is already transforming energy, banking and healthcare, and using tech to tackle problems such as food waste. Now they’re going to engineer, hack and code their way towards lower emissions.
We are at a turning point in our fight against climate change – and it’s right that the tech industry leads the charge.
Firstly, like the rest of us, it’s in the existential interests of these businesses to act. But it’s also in their economic self-interest. According to estimates, the energy efficiencies alone that come from green investment are expected to unlock billions of pounds for companies – and that’s not counting the revenue opportunities from low-carbon goods and services. The digital drive to Net Zero is a profitable one.
It’s also no accident that the greentech revolution is kicking off here in the UK – the tech capital of Europe. We’re by far the biggest hub for tech firms and venture capital funding. By the end of 2020 we were officially home to 81 unicorns.
But the government isn’t stopping there. We’re pushing an unashamedly pro-tech agenda for the coming years, so that we can continue to attract top talent, help our brilliant tech firms grow, and use digital innovation to fuel a new era of growth.
Now we’re going to use our best and brightest tech minds to tackle climate change together. The taskforce has announced an ambitious target of signing up 1,000 members by COP26 this November – so get signing.