Businesses call for net-zero clarity

28 June 2019

A group of UK businesses has called on the government to give more clarity on its vision of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The infuential Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that the government should use a forthcoming Energy White Paper to outline its priorities for achieving the target and ensure that sufficient investment can be made in the required infrastructure.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the CBI says that the government must address the challenge of securing long-term investor confidence while maintaining the competitiveness of industry.

It says: “The Energy White Paper is an opportunity to give investors confidence in the long-term plans to maintain decarbonisation of the power sector, and how this interlinks with the challenges in other sectors. A mix of market-based mechanisms, targeted intervention to support new technologies, and consistent long-term policy frameworks will make this possible and maximise the power of business and industry to deliver this fundamental change.”

The letter comes a day after the net-zero emissions target was officially enshrined into UK law. The target was developed after recommendations made by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) earlier this year, and raises the ambitions of a previous target set by the Climate Change Act.

The CBI says that nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage have important roles to play in a secure, low-carbon energy mix. It has also called for technology trials to determine the best solutions to decarbonise heat, and a clear mix of incentives for consumers and businesses to buy electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

“To deliver the government’s admirable net-zero policy by 2050, it is mission critical that business, politicians and the public work together to devise and make the necessary changes,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist. “Firms want to see a whole host of stable, long-term policies enacted – from building new nuclear power stations to scaling-up carbon capture and storage technology and infrastructure – that send markets a robust signal: the UK is open for green business, and is a world leader in tackling climate change.”



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