CCC report to parliament: the industry responds

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP,:
“The Climate Change Committee’s progress report offers a frank assessment of the Government’s environmental progress to date. The UK has made much headway in creating a cleaner electricity system over the last decade, but we have a long way to go to clean up transport, industry and our homes and buildings. The Covid crisis has clearly diverted Government from this task. But now we must move beyond warm words: now is the time for policies that deliver strong incentives to cut carbon across the economy.

“The CCC has pointed out that Government policies do not yet match lofty Ministerial ambitions. More worryingly, it appears that the Government is not yet prepared for the honest debate with the public about the changes that we must all consider starting to make within the lifetime of this Parliament. From our own work on the Committee, it is clear that consumption of fast fashion and single-use plastics must reduce, that practical low carbon home heating options must be made available at reasonable cost, and that we must be more mindful about reusing and recycling our electrical items. The climate emergency requires straight talking, strategic vision and decisive policy action. I urge the Government to up their game.”

Nick Molho, executive director, Aldersgate Group: “The only way the UK can credibly protect its economy from climate risks and get on track for achieving net zero emissions is by making climate change a top priority for all government departments and supporting this with detailed and timely policy plans. Today’s Progress Reports from the Climate Change Committee show that this is clearly not the case at present.

“This parliamentary term is critical for meeting the UK’s climate and adaptation targets and doing so in a way that delivers supply chain growth and job creation across the country. The extent to which the UK can minimise the costs and maximise the economic opportunities from the net zero transition and adapting to climate change will ultimately depend on the policy decisions that the Government makes in the years to come.”

“Whilst some welcome progress has been made in cutting emissions in the power sector, our extensive engagement with businesses show that there is a critical lack of policy measures to drive low carbon investment in buildings, transport, agriculture and heavy industry. The government can answer these concerns by publishing a detailed and cross-sectoral Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26 and carefully co-ordinating this Strategy with the funding plan to be published by the Treasury as part of its Net Zero Review.”

Luke Warren, Chief Executive, CCSA: “The message from the Climate Change Committee is clear – we need to be moving further and faster on Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS). Whilst the UK has come a long way on CCUS, in particular introducing an ambition of capturing 10 million tonnes per year by 2030 in last year’s ten point plan, this does not go far enough. Indeed today’s report concludes that this ambition is 12 Mt/CO2 behind the necessary pathway to meet net zero. It is clear that CCUS will be a vital part of the decarbonisation pathway for many key sectors and, as the Committee has emphasised, this decade will be critical for scaling up CCUS across industry, hydrogen, power, greenhouse gas removals and energy from waste.

“We now urgently need to move forward with the framework that will deliver the first CCUS clusters by 2030. The CCSA will shortly publish a report setting out the economic benefits of investing in a CCUS industry. We have modelled both the ten point plan scenario as well as the deployment levels recommended in the Sixth Carbon Budget. We look forward to sharing our findings and showcasing the tremendous UK opportunity from delivering a net zero compliant CCUS programme.”

Chris Hewett, chief executive, Solar Energy UK: “Green NGOs, energy trade bodies, and now the Climate Change Committee are all calling for the government to be ambitious around solar energy. We need to deploy this affordable, proven technology as fast as possible to ensure we can meet the clean power needs of a net zero economy. We will go faster with some timely interventions from government.”

UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Energy UK, RenewableUK, the Decarbonised Gas Alliance, Hydrogen East, the Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Network and the British Compressed Gases Association: “Hydrogen technology has many uses, brings air quality improvements and is here now.”
“…While the Government has provided support and warm words for the hydrogen industry in recent years – most recently in the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution late last year – the absence of a clear strategy has meant that the landscape and future for the industry remains uncertain. What will be the funding mechanism to support blue hydrogen and the emergence of green hydrogen so that they can compete with traditional forms of power and electricity generation? How will the current taxation of fossil fuels need to change? What support will there be to raise the UK production and export of fuel cells, so essential in the production of hydrogen?

“We eagerly await the publication of the Hydrogen Strategy, as well as the accompanying plans around exactly how we will decarbonise. Globally, there is significant momentum building for the hydrogen economy. 30 countries already have hydrogen specific strategies in place. If the Government fails to provide answers to the questions industry needs answering, the UK hydrogen industry risks being left behind.”

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