Over the last 10 years, the UK has made significant progress in transitioning towards renewable energy. Improvements in technology, use of renewable energy, a drift away from coal and decline in energy intensive industries were the key determinants for the shift towards clean energy.
According to the report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the emission of greenhouse gas is on a downward trajectory. Since 2000, the total CO2 emission was reduced by 34% whereas the total greenhouse gas was reduced by 36%. The dependence on coal was reduced by a whopping 82% in the last decade alone. This result was mainly possibly due to the changes in the mix of fuels used for electricity generation.
The UK officially committed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to reduce emissions by 80%. The UK government advisory Committee on Climate Change recommended the “net zero” target in May, 2019. The net zero means that emissions generated from energy would be balanced by policies to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by planting trees or using carbon capture or storage technology.
The government will propose policies that will attempt to align with net zero carbon emission. The policies would cover ways to make the clean revolution as seamless as possible.
The focus would be on technological improvements like LED light bulbs, which save emissions without creating day-to-day hinderance on people’s lives.
The government will also promote hydrogen central heating instead of gas. They will also incentivise the use of electric cars rather than petroleum reliant vehicles. Although meat-eating and flying generates huge carbon emissions, the government would not suppress such usage.
The government has not been explicit whether the cost will be footed on tax-payers, bill- payers or fossil fuel companies. There will also be a need for massive investment in the clean energy sector for the objection to come into fruition as someone has to foot the bill. Chancellor Philip Hammond has said that the funding that goes to schools, hospitals and the police may have to be compromised, and the cost could potentially reach £1 trillion mark by 2050. Prof Dieter Helm from the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, said:
“From the UK’s end, doing this unilaterally, we have to be very careful that we don’t
simply say: ‘we’re going to reduce the emissions from our cars and our power stations
here in Britain, but we’re going to carry on importing those emissions from overseas.
“ We don’t make very much in this country. Manufacturing is only 20% of the economy.
Most of the stuff that you go and buy in the supermarket... it’s all imported.”
Opponents, however, suggest that Mr Hammond and Mr Helm did not take into account the benefits of cleaner air and a more stable climate.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) also has a framework for the UK construction and property industry to transition new and existing buildings to become net zero carbon by 2050.
If you need help to understand the compliances that the UK government has mandated, please feel free to call Karsons Consulting today 020 3282 7605 or firstname.lastname@example.org