07 Sep 2020

techUK report: Making the UK a digital clean tech leader

Government must back emerging digital clean tech sector says techUK.

Making the UK a digital clean tech leader[EMBARGOED 00:01] 07 September 2020 techUK is today calling on government to back the UK’s emerging digital climatetech sector, as new research reveals digital technologies already in the field could deliver a 15% increase in UK carbon emissions abatement by 2030 whilst adding £13.7bn Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK.

The research is outlined in a new report – How to make the UK a digital clean tech leaderlaunched by techUK and Deloitte during London Tech Week. It argues that further, and deeper, carbon emission reductions enabled by digital technologies are in reach.

CEO of techUK, Julian David said: “We are seeing the growth of a new digital tech sector, one whose focus is to cut carbon emissions and support other sectors in their transition to net zero. But digitalisation doesn’t just happen. We need to work with government to unlock the full potential of tech in helping UK businesses become smarter, more efficient and cleaner.”

With the right business environment, the report argues, the UK can not only cut emissions more efficiently but win a slice of the growing climate tech market.

In the recommendations techUK calls for government to:

  • Put a focus on “data for decarbonisation” within the forthcoming National Data Strategy.
  • Pivot innovation to net zero to test not just the new technologies, but to also test the underlying value propositions, market, commercial viability, and business models.
  • Begin Climate “crowd-sourcing” of innovative tech solutions to policy challenges.
  • Set out an urgent call for evidence on market incentives for net zero to strengthen the investment case and unlock private investment in              decarbonisation.
  • Create a new Net Zero Tech Taskforce to unlock regulatory barriers and identify outdated standards that are holding the UK back from                  deploying clean technologies in energy and business.

Susanne Baker, techUK’s Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability said: “We have just three decades left to reach net zero and are on the cusp of embarking on massive system changes across our economy. We can harness digital to help us to that more efficiently. But to maximise what we as a sector can do, we need to create space for digital and critically we need an inclusive debate and strategy on open data for the planet.”

Nick Owen, UK Chair of Deloitte “When addressing the climate crisis, how we develop and deploy digital technology matters. Clean technology is already making a positive contribution to economic growth and to reducing emissions – and this contribution is projected to grow. There is still much more to do, however, and we are committed to working with our clients to deploy clean technology as an essential tool in addressing the climate crisis head on.”

Susanne Baker

Susanne Baker

Associate Director, Climate, Environment and Sustainability , techUK