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As announced at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, by 2023 large UK companies will be legally required to publish plans on how they will cut their climate emissions to reach net zero by 2050. WWF and Aviva will help develop a framework for private sector transition plans as members of the Government’s Transition Plan Taskforce, which was launched on the 25 April 2022.

WWF and Aviva’s new report maps out the next steps the government must take to help the finance sector, businesses and the public sector move forward on this journey to tackle the climate and nature crises.

Aligning the UK's Finance System to Net Zero’ highlights the opportunities that UK’s Green Finance Strategy offers to help develop a ‘whole economy approach’ to net-zero transition planning. The paper calls for the government to both strengthen the implementation of private sector transition plans and raise ambition in the public sector, where policies and spending decisions affect the whole of the UK economy. Most critically, the paper calls for nature's contributions to be built into plans to reach net zero.

WWF and Aviva recommend that:

  • the Government ensures that net-zero transition plans are science-based, credible, and ambitious
  • a statutory secondary objective is introduced as part of the HM Treasury’s Future Regulatory Framework to facilitate the UK finance sector’s alignment with net zero and nature positive
  • net-zero transition plans proposed for large companies should be matched by ones from government departments, and
  • transition plans from businesses and government must include provisions to protect and restore nature as well as cutting climate emissions 

Tanya Steele, WWF’s CEO said: “WWF and Aviva share the same view - that the world still has time to avoid the worst impacts of a climate catastrophe, but only if all of us, especially governments and businesses, take immediate action.

“Shaping our net-zero future will create jobs and protect and restore the environment but for that to happen the forthcoming Green Finance Strategy must include a coherent transition plan for the whole of the UK economy.”

Read the report