The UK has undergone a major slowdown in productivity growth over the last 15 years, which has left us collectively poorer as a society. The transition to net zero is often framed as a cost that will detract from the economy, but it increasingly presents opportunities to raise productivity and add new industries to the UK economy.

The sustainable future mission’s secondary focus is on how the switch to a greener, lower-carbon economy can also increase the UK’s productivity. We have identified many ways in which the switch to net zero could raise productivity, from the lower costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency to creating more highly skilled jobs in green industries.

Our work is focusing especially on two opportunities for a greener, more productive economy. The first is on green jobs and skills, seeking innovative ways to get more people training for and working in highly paid, highly productive green jobs. The second is on green tech adoption, exploring how businesses can reduce their carbon emissions and increase their productivity at the same time.