BY VICTORIA WALKER 30th May 2019, London. The national agenda to achieve a Net Zero Britain by 2050 is an ambitious global target
that appears to be somewhat unrealistic given current policy efforts. The cost of decarbonising the UK economy is often compared to the cost of preparing for war. However, according to the BBC, lowering emissions by 80 % would cost the UK government a mere 1-2 % of annual GDP . Even if the cost is perceived as easy to overcome, the bigger challenge is the ability to incentivise society to commit to a zero-carbon lifestyle when the benefits of doing so are global and not local.
In recent weeks, Extinction Rebellion protesters superglued themselves to the London Stock Exchange and disrupted traffic in Central London. Interrupting business is one way to draw attention to the cost of climate change. Another is to experience it.
On May 17th the UK held its annual Bike to Work Day. All those who participated were probably reminded of the bad air quality in central London. A reduction in air pollution will have a positive impact on health; a local benefit often overlooked when monetizing the policy costs of reaching the 2050 target emissions. Especially as new figures suggest air pollution is responsible for causing closer to 64,000 deaths, just 18 per cent less than the 78,000 deaths caused by tobacco .This alone should be an incentive to decarbonisation for anyone living in the UK.
There is a good proportion of staff at JDX who bike and walk for more than 20 minutes in the city of London to work at a client site. By limiting carbon emissions, JDX would benefit from a reduction in the number of sick days of JDXers, an improvement of employee health and improved service to our clients.
So what can JDX do to reduce carbon emissions? First, we can start by measuring JDX’s carbon footprint. This is no walk in the park. As a consulting firm, 95 % of our employees time is spent on client site. The challenge is determining where JDX impacts carbon emissions in the course of doing business onsite, offsite and everywhere in between. Only when we measure the impact of every individual employee can we truly quantify the carbon output of JDX.
Contributing to better air quality in the city of London for our fellow commuters (check out JDXs bike to work scheme) and reducing JDX’s carbon emissions are small steps to help achieve Net-Zero Britain by 2050. It is our way of demonstrating our commitment to an increasingly green conscious marketplace.
“This is not what we hope or we think ought to happen, it’s about what can happen!” – Lord Debden, The Committee on Climate Change chairman.