The voice of the energy industry

Energy UK calls for new ‘net-zero test’ to boost climate action

Today, to coincide with the Global Climate Strike (20 Sept), Energy UK is calling on the Government to introduce a ‘net-zero test’ to ensure all new government policies support the new target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This call comes as Energy UK publishes ‘Energy in the UK’ which outlines the energy sector’s positive contribution to the economy, the environment and for customers, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Energy UK identified four SDGs most relevant to the sector including climate action, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation and infrastructure and sustainable cities and communities.

The report highlights the industry’s positive contribution to decarbonisation and emissions reductions, including:

  • In the eleven years since the Climate Change Act, the power sector reduced its CO2 emissions by 62%, shrinking its share in the UK’s total CO2 emissions from 33% to 18%.
  • Low carbon generation stood at 53% in 2018, with renewables alone representing 33% of generation up three percentage points on 2017.
  • The power sector continues to make the largest contribution to CO2 emissions reductions. Since 1990 the power sector has lowered CO2 emissions by 68% representing 60% of the overall economy-wide reduction in CO2 emissions.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive at Energy UK, said:

“Today we are calling for a ‘net-zero test’ for all new Government policies to ensure they support the net-zero target, not undermine it.

“Delivering net-zero is not only achievable, it is critical. But it is also a game-changer, and we need to see a step-change in the pace of action and a consistent and concerted effort across the whole of Government.

“The power sector has been world-leading in reducing the UK’s emissions, delivering benefits for the economy, the environment and customers, but we must now go further and faster if we are to achieve this target. Our industry stands ready to work in partnership with Government to deliver our shared ambition and we must start urgently. There is no time to waste.”

Energy UK recently published the ‘Future of Energy’ report, setting out the policy framework and action required to deliver a low carbon future energy system that customers see as fair.  Measures outlined include the need for a fully-funded National Energy Efficiency Programme to boost energy efficiency; the decarbonisation of our homes, businesses and transport; and increasing low carbon generation, including allowing the lowest cost, low-carbon technologies, such as onshore wind, to compete in Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions.

Notes to editors:

  • You can download the ‘Energy in the UK’ report on our website.
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a recognizable framework. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its heart aim to reduce poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth.
  • See our Future of Energy report.
  • See our Climate Change Action Plan.
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