Of all the utilities, water is probably the least prone to radical change. The first water infrastructure – wells and even some disposal of sewage - was developed over 6000 years ago. Water infrastructure in the Roman empire was more sophisticated than other utilities would achieve until well into the industrial revolution (and believe it or not some is still used today).

The underlying principles that policy makers and regulators use to guide their every-day decisions need to be transformed if we are to survive and thrive through Covid-19 and the biodiversity and climate crises.

Price-control design is both complex and 'mission-critical'. At stake is how the £billions of funding allowed by the regulator for DNO investment and operations will be shaped for the coming five years and beyond. Rightly, there is a strong focus on cost-efficiency. But concern about past returns shouldn't wholly dictate the future.

Last week I spoke on a panel at a webinar hosted by Enertechnos, a company which produces low loss cables for the electricity distribution sector and who have just produced a report on how losses impact our ability to meet net zero.

It was great to see the conclusions of the Citizens Climate Assembly published last week, having looked in depth[1] at the French equivalent. As an advocate of citizens assemblies and deliberative engagement more broadly, and given the crucial importance of tackling climate change, I am clear that the report deserves to be taken seriously and read carefully by policy makers and others.

Even before the Covid crisis and the climate emergency movement, the notion that capitalism had to
be about more than simply short-term shareholder returns had been growing worldwide.

As health practitioners, scientists, economists and those in government continue to navigate the country through the Coronavirus crisis some eight months on; fire-fighting simmering virus hotspots whilst simultaneously attempting to reinvigorate the economy; those tasked with looking further into a post-Corona future have so far been clear on two things.

There's been a recent wave of good news around deliberative engagement on climate change. Last week the UK Climate Assembly produced an interim briefing on the question of a green recovery and the French equivalent produced its full 460 page report with 150 recommendations.