Drax power station

‘Net zero is impossible without clean growth policies’

The UK will be unable to meet its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 without urgent action, says a government committee. The Science and Technology Select Committee highlighted the lack of policies to deliver the target and recommends 10 steps that the government should take to meet this legally binding target.

Its report criticises the government for unacceptable cutbacks and slow progress and sets out recommendations across transport, heating, energy efficiency and how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

IGEM echoes the report’s findings and its CEO Neil Atkinson says: “We can only agree with the committee that the UK urgently needs a clear strategy for decarbonising the energy system and heat in particular. Unfortunately, progress in this area has been stymied by indecision and hampered by cutbacks.

“However, the UK has an opportunity now to take decisive action on the decarbonisation of heat. We note this report contains several positive recommendations on the measures needed to do this successfully and the important role hydrogen can play in that transition.

“Key to this change will be the hydrogen safety demonstration projects currently taking place around the country. We support the committee’s call to support these schemes and address this issue with the utmost urgency.

“The report goes on to urge the government to amend regulations to raise the proportion of hydrogen permitted in the gas grid, once the safety evidence has been obtained. IGEM is working hard on developing hydrogen technical standards and reviewing the gas quality standards that would underpin any change in gas quality legislation.

“The government must now accelerate its thinking in terms of policies and regulation to support these measures.”

The Committee on Climate Change also warned that the UK is not even on course to meet its existing legally binding targets for 2023 to 2032.

For more on IGEM’s work in this area, go to: www.igem.org.uk/technical-services/gas-quality-working-group

Read the Clean Growth report: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news-parliament-2017/clean-growth-report-published-17-19

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