UK CCC: Current programmes will not deliver Net Zero

Jul 01 2022

A new Progress Report by the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) finds major failures in delivery programmes towards the achievement of the UK’s climate goals.

In a landmark 600-page assessment, the CCC has revamped its framework for monitoring the UK’s climate progress, focusing on the changes needed on the ground to achieve Net Zero. Across the economy, the CCC has developed detailed new progress indicators to assess the risks of Net Zero delivery.

Last year, the CCC applauded the Government for setting ambitious targets and launching a new Net Zero Strategy. Policies are now in place for most sectors of the economy, but a thorough review of progress finds scant evidence of delivery against these headline goals so far. There are some bright spots of progress, but in most areas the likelihood of under-delivery is high. This is a high-wire approach to Net Zero. For the UK’s climate lead to be effective, the world must have confidence that we will keep our promises and that we have a clear and effective programme to achieve our commitments.

CCC Chairman, Lord Deben, said, “The UK is a champion in setting new climate goals, now we must be world-beaters in delivering them. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the country is crying out to end its dependence on expensive fossil fuels. I welcome the Government’s restated commitment to Net Zero, but holes must be plugged in its strategy urgently. The window to deliver real progress is short. We are eagle-eyed for the promised action.”

UK emissions are now almost half (47%) their 1990 levels. Emissions rose 4% in 2021 as the economy began to recover from COVID-19 but were still 10% below 2019 levels. Further progress must be led by Government policies with clear direction, credible delivery mechanisms and suitable incentives to shape private sector action. In no sector of the economy is this yet complete. The report makes over 300 recommendations for filling out policies over the next year, reflecting the scale of the task at hand as the Government moves from strategy to implementation.

Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, commented, “Today’s report from the Climate Change Committee is clear – the UK is not on track to deliver net zero and we need to move much further and faster on CCUS specifically."

"Our CCUS Delivery Plan is a call to action for Government, to urgently confirm the business models for both CCUS and hydrogen and to provide clarity to investors on the process for selecting the next wave of clusters that must be operational by 2030."

"By establishing a successful CCUS industry with a homegrown UK supply chain, we can unlock other climate solutions such as greenhouse gas removals which will be vital for harder-to-abate sectors such as aviation. The UK has a tremendous unique opportunity to become a global leader in this crucial technology, but we need to push the pedal now.”

CCC report
Carbon Capture and Storage Association

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Issue 87 - May - June 2022

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