To lower greenhouse gas emissions across the country, the UK government has put together the Clean Growth Strategy. Designed to detail a comprehensive approach to ensuring a lower-carbon future, the initiative has been welcomed by many environmentalists.
Created by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), you can read it here. If you don’t have time to trawl through the entire document, gas mains specialist, Flogas, summarise the key points below …
Climate change in the UK
How did the Clean Growth Strategy come about? In 2008, the UK introduced the Climate Change Act, and through this became the first nation in the world to self-impose a legally binding carbon reduction target. The crux of it? To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).
Is the UK going to achieve its target?
BEIS revealed in March 2017 that this aim is most certainly achievable. Overall carbon emissions having dropped by 42% since 1990! While this progress is encouraging, the government acknowledges that there is still plenty more work to be done — and that’s where proposals like the Clean Growth Strategy come in.
Will the Clean Growth Strategy assist in hitting targets?
The Clean Growth Strategy will speed up ‘clean growth’ by lowering emissions and boosting economic growth. The two objectives underpinning the strategy are:
- To maximise the social and economic benefits for the UK from this transition.
- To meet our domestic commitments at the lowest possible net cost to UK taxpayers, consumers and businesses.
But are these aims practical and feasible? Apparently so. The government will implement lower-carbon processes, systems and technologies all over the country — doing so in only cost-effective ways for businesses and homes.
Clean Growth Strategy’s main proposals
The following sections are all responsible for 100% of the UK’s carbon emissions:
- Improving business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions).
- Accelerating the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions).
- Delivering clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions).
- Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions).
- Improving our homes (13% of UK emissions).
- Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions).
You can find the full list of 50 pledges in this executive summary.
How will this affect companies and homes across the UK?
We will all be supported in our endeavours to reduce our carbon footprint. A major focus will be reassessing the fuels we use for jobs like heating, cooking, and powering industrial and manufacturing processes — and embracing cleaner, greener alternatives.
This includes greater use of renewable technologies (e.g. heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar panels), as well as more use of cleaner energy sources. For example, for off-grid homes and businesses, the strategy sets out specific plans to phase out high-carbon forms of fossil fuels like oil. As the lowest-carbon conventional off-grid fuel, oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversions will play a key part in replacing oil in rural parts of the country.
Connected to the mains network? Then, natural gas will stay a popular source mainly due to the fact that it is the lowest-carbon fossil fuel available. Flogas also expects to see the use of natural gas grow in the next few years, as well as the ‘green gas’ phenomenon (natural gas injected with a proportion of environmentally friendly biogas).
How do people feel about the Clean Growth Strategy?
Across the board, experts are thrilled with the Clean Growth Strategy. Lee Gannon, Managing Director of Flogas, said: “Through the publication of its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has made clear its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid UK homes and businesses. Natural gas is affordable, versatile, widely available and – most importantly – emits significantly less carbon than the likes of coal and oil. As such, it will continue to play a central role as the UK works towards cleaning up its energy landscape. We look forward to working alongside policymakers and wider industry stakeholders to make the Clean Growth Strategy the success that it deserves to be.”
Trade body Oil & Gas UK is also excited to see how the initiative will affect the UK. Mike Tholen, its Upstream Policy Director, commented: “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as carbon capture, usage and storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”