Accelerating net zero: how can government incentivise and supercharge transition?

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June 29, 2023
United Kingdom

Reaching net zero is one of the most pressing tasks that the UK government faces, as warnings multiply about the urgency of action to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The government has set out a road map on how the nation plans to reach its target to transition the economy to net zero by 2050. Its Powering Up Britain plan has set out an ambitious set of commitments around generating clean energy, reducing energy demand and greening the economy, while its response to Chris Skidmore’s Mission Zero review for the government has provided an insight into the government structures and processes that will be needed to reach the decarbonisation landmark.

Reaching net zero will require a systemic approach in which government will need to influence and incentivise the whole of society – citizens, businesses, public bodies and others. This webinar explored the tools and capabilities needed in government to do just that, and whether the government’s current plans provide them.

Join this webinar to find out:

  • The key building blocks to reaching net zero that the government need to put in place.
  • What government will need to do to catalyse moves to net zero across the whole economy.
  • The impact net zero policy will have on public services – and what the government needs to do to prepare.


Selvin Brown MBE, Director, Net Zero Buildings – Domestic, Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero

Selvin has held a number of high profile policy/delivery roles, across several departments, over the last 30 years. He is currently responsible for six GMPP, and related policies and regulations aimed at decarbonising the UK’s 27 million homes. He is also passionate about the Civil Service, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; is the Civil Service Deputy Race Champion, and a Non-Executive Director of the Civil Service Charity. 


Neil Hornby, Chief Executive, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science

Neil is Chief Executive of Cefas, the government’s marine and freshwater science agency. Cefas works in the UK and around the world to provide scientific research, data and analysis which helps governments tackle climate change, promote nature recovery, address marine pollution and ensure safe and sustainable seafood. This includes ensuring new nuclear and offshore wind capacity can be deployed without impacting the wider environment and increasing understanding of the role that the ocean and blue carbon play in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Prior to this role, Neil spent over 20 years working in central government in the UK. Most recently as the Marine Director in Defra, with other senior roles including overseeing flood risk management policy and on nuclear energy policy.

Dr Stephen Bass, Manager and Net Zero lead, UK Regulators’ Network

Steve leads on net zero, governance and regulatory reform at the UK Regulators’ Network – a member organisation set up in 2014 to promote collaboration across a membership which now spans 14 regulators, including utility, financial and economic regulators.  UKRN works to promote collaboration, to deliver shared objectives and to promote effective regulation through thought leadership and engagement including with government, NGOs and thinktanks.  Key UKRN priority areas currently include working across the regulatory community to support consumers through the cost-of-living crisis, supporting the net zero transition and thought leadership to support regulatory reform.

Prior to this role, Steve spent over 20 years working in central government and regulators in the UK and abroad.  At the New Zealand Commerce Commission Steve set-up and led a new enforcement function for energy, airports and telecommunications, and at Ofgem he led Sustainable Energy Policy and set-up the retail market compliance team.  During his earlier career in central government, Steve introduced government’s first approach to evaluating the ‘ecosystem services’ provided by nature in development decisions, and he led the production of government’s first Resource Security Action Plan.  Steve has doctorate and masters degrees in Physics, and is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society

Charlotte Warburton, Head of Transport & Public Sector Sustainability and Climate Leader, Deloitte

Charlotte leads Deloitte’s Transport practice, with a background in cross industry transformation, change, innovation and technology. She has over 20 years of experience supporting organisations in defining their future strategies and working across industry stakeholder to ensure the strategically important, complex transformation programmes required to deliver these futures are successful.

In her role as Deloitte’s Sustainability and Climate leader she works alongside government applying her sector transformation experience to turn S&C policy into action, as well as helping government departments understand how they can address their business critical issue in a sustainable manner. Her passion is bringing public and private sector organisations together to take a whole system view on the climate challenge, teaming up and incentivising innovation to speed up to win the race on net zero.

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.