Stripping two-thirds of the carbon emissions out of today’s industrial energy use is key to reaching Britain’s climate goals by 2035, a detailed review of Net Zero policies fronted by Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP and former energy minister, calculates today.
Though opposed by vocal libertarians in Skidmore’s party, Net Zero remains Britain’s best, quickest option to secure energy security and curbing carbon from the nation’s economy, according to the Industrial Mission Zero Network, the advisory enquiry set up in September last year.
Its report “Decarbonise Now” draws on meetings with over 1,000 organisations. More than 1,800 pieces of evidence were considered.
Skidmore writes: “To meet Britiain’s Sixth Carbon Budget, industrial emissions need to fall by an annual average of 8% between 2022 and 2030.
“We can achieve this by placing greater focus on improved efficiency, electrification and utilising digital tools, both those available and disruptive technologies as they are developed”.
“Net zero is the growth opportunity of the 21st century”, the report asserts, and “Britain should be proud of the steps it has taken to achieve it”. Over 90% of global economic output is now covered by Net Zero targets, the report notes
It calls for a twin-track approach to decarbonising Britain’s industry and commerce:
- maximising decarbonisation now, with the tools and technologies able to be deployed with the correct policy support,
- by speeding up longer term provision of CCUS ( carbon capture use and storage ) at all industrial sites, allied to wider deployment of hydrogen over pipeline networks.
The reports cites a finding by the London School of Economics that CCUS has potential to preserve u to 53,000 jobs in energy intensive industries.
To overcome what it calls the “net present danger” of not acting fast enough in taking forward “no regrets and no excuses” policies, Skidmore’s review picks out ‘25 measures by 2025’ for immediate delivery.
The Association of Renewable Energy & Low Carbon Technologies welcomed the report. Its director Dr Nina Skorupska commented:
“Britain needs to find a way to compete with international destinations for Net Zero supply chains and investment to enable the decarbonisation of our industries, which will be critical to realising Net Zero.
“Existing mechanisms such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme are too narrowly focused, and currently do not do enough to enable all business and industries to decarbonise.
The report was right to highlight urgent deployment of viable low carbon technologies already available such as bioenergy heat pumps and deep geothermal. Longer term support was also needed for critical technologies like bioenergy CCUS and hydrogen production.
Read the report here.