Industry must make big cuts in emissions

17th January 2012


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Management ,
  • Management/saving ,
  • Mitigation



Industry must cut emissions by up to 70% against 2009 levels if the UK is to meet its 2050 carbon-reduction targets, according to the government's first carbon plan.

Although the UK is on course to surpass its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 against 1990 levels, energy efficiency will have to increase dramatically across all sectors, including industry, if the country is to meet the goal of an 80% cut by 2050, says the 220-page document produced by DECC.

It suggests that industrial emissions reductions will come from three sources: further efficiencies in the use of energy and materials and the design of industrial processes; replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon alternatives such as bioenergy and electrification; and from carbon capture and storage (CCS) to address combustion and process emissions.

Over the next decade, climate change agreements, the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency (CRC) scheme and the EU emissions trading scheme will encourage businesses to reduce their energy use, says the plan. Thereafter the mains cuts will come from more companies shifting to using low-carbon fuels, such as having sustainable biomass to generate heat.

DECC forecasts that, by 2027, emissions from industry will be between 20% and 24% lower than 2009 levels. The plan makes it clear that the government will assist strategically important industrial sectors, such as steel, aluminium and cement, in maintaining competitiveness.

The EEF, the manufacturer’s body, welcomed the commitment to preserving competiveness and the pledge to focus on reducing energy intensity rather than absolute emissions. “The government’s carbon plan is a real step forward,” commented the EEF’s head of climate and environment, Gareth Stace.

The CBI’s head of energy and climate change, Matthew Brown, said: “The plan gives investors a clearer picture of how we will transition to a low-carbon economy. We now need this to be backed by consistent, long-term policies, avoiding any sudden changes of direction which put investors off.”

DECC says that up to 10GW of CCS capacity will be required by the late 2020s, but there is concern about progress in developing the technology in the UK. “There is still a mismatch between government ambitions for CCS. Without funding now there is a risk the UK will lose the race to be a world leader in the development of CCS,” said Stace.

His comments were echoed by the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), which said the plan lacked ambition and could damage the sector’s future by underestimating its potential. “To meet UK emissions targets by 2030, the country needs two to three times more CCS in operation than predicted by the government,” said Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the CCSA.

Transform articles

Water companies fail to hit environmental targets

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 2021

Read more

The UK's solar energy capacity must treble over the next decade for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but is only set to double under a business-as-usual scenario.

18th June 2021

Read more

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.

4th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert