Take a trip around the United Kingdom and you won’t just see ‘green and pleasant lands’. You’ll also spot evidence of a country committed to Clean Growth: windfarms gracefully spin above windswept bays, while solar panels harness energy across the UK. Behind the scenes, technology and data drive industry and progress towards Net Zero.
The UK is a pioneer in this space. It was the first of the G7 countries to legislate a net zero emissions target by 2050, and the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act, with its five year caps on carbon emissions, was adopted by the UN’s Paris Agreement as a possible solution to the climate crisis. After being one of the first countries to industrialise back in the 19th century, the UK is now among the first to start looking for clean, innovative solutions and alternatives to goods, services and technologies. What’s more, the UK also has a government export credit agency (ECA), the UK Export Finance (UKEF), which offers guarantees, insurance and loans as financial support to UK businesses that are considering clean-energy solutions.
Clean Growth is one of the UN’s sustainability goals and a keen area of focus for the UK. The UK has reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation, they’ve cut emissions by 42 percent since 1990, while their economy grew by two thirds. But there’s more to be done: it’s estimated that the planet needs between $57 trillion to $93 trillion investments in low-carbon, climate resilience infrastructure by 2030 if the planet is to achieve its Net Zero goal.
In the same way the UK has adopted Clean Growth to move towards a Net Zero future, other regions are looking to achieve the same. Latin America in particular, with its sun-drenched deserts, windy Pacific coastlines and surging Andean rivers is particularly well-placed to benefit from investing in green technologies. The IFC has assessed the availability of clean energy opportunities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru: findings revealed 88 percent of available investment potential by 2030 is for renewable energy. In addition, with a significant and growing urban population (80%) and an already embedded reliance on hydropower (45%), Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAC) are primed for further expansion into Clean Growth. The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) works across the region hand-in-hand with the UK’s diplomatic network, matching LATAC demands with the UK offer, in a range of areas.