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UK Launches New Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy

A new blueprint designed by the UK Government called the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy is set to provide a greener future for the manufacturing and construction sector. Today’s measures will create and support 80,000 UK jobs over the next 30 years whilst cutting emissions by two-thirds in just 15 years,the UK government states. This is part of the government’s plan to net zero by 2050 as the strategy aims to support existing industries to decarbonise as well as introduce new, low carbon industries so skilled jobs and business are both protected and created. This also incentives businesses to invest in home-grown decarbonisation technology by providing them ‘long term certainty’. 

This blueprint was introduced to help the UK’s steps in moving towards greener energy sources. The expectation of switching 20 terawatt hours of the UK industry’s energy supply from fossil sources to low carbon alternatives by 2030 – pushing the industry to increase its use of low carbon energy sources to around 40% of industry’s total energy consumption.

How The Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Works

The Industrial Decarbonisation challenge has been allocating funds to several projects across the UK to reduce carbon emissions, such as providing £932 million to 429 projects that will reduce emissions from public buildings like hospitals, schools, and council buildings. This strategy can help businesses potentially save around £2 billion per year in energy costs. With the following ‘clear signal’, the government proposes the right framework to achieve their 2050 net zero goal.

Key Commitments:

  • to use carbon pricing as tool for getting industry to take account of their emissions in business and investment decisions
  • to establish the right policy framework to ensure uptake of fuel switching in industry from fossil fuels to low carbon alternatives such as hydrogen, electricity or biomass
  • to establish a targeted approach to mitigate against carbon leakage that meets the government’s domestic and global climate goals, while keeping businesses competitive
  • to develop proposals for new product standards, enabling manufacturers to clearly distinguish their products from high carbon competitors
  • to explore the role of coordinated action on public procurement to create demand for green industrial products, helping to drive down costs and allowing a broader market to develop
  • use the government’s Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, named ‘Project Speed’, to ensure the land planning regime is fit for building low carbon infrastructure
  • to work with the recently re-constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’
  • support the skills transition so that the current and future workforce benefit from the creation of new green jobs
  • an expectation that industrial emissions will fall by two-thirds by 2035, and by at least 90% by 2050, compared to 2018 levels
  • an expectation that at least 3 megatons of CO2 is captured within industry per year by 2030, compared to minimal levels at present.

Net Zero By 2050

Green Alliance’s Head of Climate Policy, Caterina Brandmayr, commented on the strategy, saying that the government must ‘embrace’ the opportunities to save carbon through more efficient use of products and materials.

She said: “It’s good to see the government thinking strategically about how to make the most of emerging technologies to help carbon intensive sectors cut their emissions. Government must also fully embrace the opportunities to save carbon through more efficient use of products and materials; the lowest carbon product is one you don’t make at all.”

Header image: Circular.

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