MPs hit out at ‘unacceptable’ government failings on delivering ‘clean growth’: call for action on heat, EVs, zero carbon homes, onshore renewables

The government may be ambitious when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, but it is not putting the policies in place which are needed to achieve those targets, accoridng to a new report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Norman Lamb MP, chair of the committee, said “The Government’s own projections suggest that the UK is not currently on track to meet its current emission targets, let alone net zero by 2050. 

“…We heard of cut backs in various programmes and slow progress, which are incompatible with the UK’s two upcoming, legally binding, carbon budgets — this is unacceptable.”

The report, ‘Clean Growth: technologies for meeting the UK’s emissions reductions targets‘, set out failings including cancellinf the zero carbon homes policy, the lack of a White Paper promised this summer, a lack of financial support for onshore wind and solar. It had ten priorities for governmemt action:

  • Urgently develop a clearer strategy for decarbonising heat. 
  • Develop an incentive scheme for energy efficiency home improvements, such as  adjusting Stamp Duty so that it varies according to the energy performance of the home and a ‘Help to Improve’ scheme by July 2020.
  • Reduce vehicle emissions by banning  new ‘conventional’ cars and vans and hybrids from 203.
  • Support onshore wind and solar power, including facilitating re-powering of existing sites.
  • Review the functioning of the Smart Export Guarantee and be ready to include a minimum price floor if there is evidence of a lack of market competitivity.
  • Sustain nuclear power without growing the industry and make a decision on the future finance framework by the end of 2019. Support sufficient renewable power alternatives to fill any gap.
  • Consult to inform the development of a future framework for managing and incentivising greenhouse gas removal.
  • Provide greater clarity on its carbon capture, usage and storage action plan, ensure that enough projects, of sufficient scale, are undertaken .
  • Consider amending Ofgem’s principal objective so that it explicitly includes ensuring that regulations align with the emissions reduction targets.
  • Support local authorities with low-cost, long-term finance as well as a statutory duty to develop emission reduction plans in line with the national targets and provide the public with an easily accessible central guide explaining what measures households can take.

Download the full report here

Further reading

The New Power Interview: Polly Billington, UK100 Members of the UK100 network of local authorities have pledged to convert to using 100% green energy by 2050. Janet Wood spoke to the network’s director, Polly Billington, about taking a local approach to energy