Infrastructure regulators need net zero powers, say government advisers

The UK will not reach its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 unless utility companies are given new powers to direct investment in sustainable infrastructure, according to the government’s infrastructure advisory body.

In a report published today, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called on the government to hand new powers to energy, water and communications regulators Ofgem, Ofwat and Ofcom. 

The commission has concluded that the current regulatory model, which focuses on price-setting, has hamstrung regulators and distracted them from prioritising long-term investments. 

The government should propose legislation to requiring the three regulators to ensure that their activities are in line with greenhouse gas targets, promote resilience and “avoid contradictory regulation and promote efficient outcomes for consumers”. 

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