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Tech leaders establish ‘bold’ net zero taskforce

Fifteen UK tech firms have launched a government-backed net zero taskforce to encourage “bold action” on climate change ahead of the COP26 climate conference.

The Tech Zero taskforce, led by Hayden Wood, co-founder and CEO of Bulb, will meet in the coming months to agree commitments to reach net zero, boost green investment and help consumers make greener choices.

Backed by the government’s Council for Sustainable Business and industry body Tech Nation, it hopes to sign up 1,000 UK tech companies before the UN’s climate conference, COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November.

Wood said: “We need bold action to avert the climate crisis, so we’ve brought together the UK’s most exciting and innovative tech companies to determine the best path to net zero as fast as possible.

“Tech Zero will go beyond targets – we want to boost access to finance and make the UK the number one destination for green investment in the world.”

The taskforce includes: allplants, Bulb, Babylon, Citymapper, Faculty, GoCardless, Habito, Hopin, Moneysupermarket, Olio, Onfido, Revolut, Starling Bank, what3words and Wise.

Andrew Griffith, the government’s net zero business champion, said: “There’s never been a better time for companies to pledge to take action on climate.

“The UK is one of the global leaders in technology so it’s fantastic to see our country’s leading tech companies come together to commit to net zero in the run up to COP26.”

A UN Environment Programme report in December found that the world is still heading toward a temperature rise of more than 3°C this century despite a brief dip in emissions due to the pandemic.

However, it said a low-carbon pandemic recovery, based on policies in place before Covid-19, could cut emissions expected in 2030  by a quarter and would put the world “close to” a pathway toward a 2°C rise.

The report praised net-zero emissions goals set by a number of countries, including the UK, calling them “the most significant and encouraging climate policy development of 2020”. But these targets will have to include near-term policies and action to remain “feasible and credible”.

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