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Government announces 1bn plan to decarbonise industry

The government has outlined a new £1bn plan to cut emissions from industry, schools and hospitals. 

In the new Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, the government has set out a plan to help the manufacturing and construction industry to reach net-zero by 2050.

The strategy includes measures to build on the UK’s efforts in moving towards greener energy sources, with an expectation of 20 terawatt-hours of the UK industry’s energy supply switching from fossil fuel sources to low carbon alternatives by 2030.

The government has said that these new measures will create and support 80,000 jobs in the UK over the next 30 years whilst also cutting emissions by two-thirds in just 15 years.

£171m from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge has been allocated to 9 green tech projects, which will undertake engineering and design studies for the rollout of decarbonisation infrastructures, such as carbon capture and hydrogen technologies.

In order to reduce carbon emissions from public buildings including hospitals, schools and council buildings, £932m has been directed to 429 projects across England, such as heat pumps, and energy efficiency measures like insulation and LED lighting.

The government will also introduce new rules on measuring the energy and carbon performance of the UK’s largest commercial and industrial buildings. This could potentially save businesses up to £2bn per year in energy costs in 2030 and would reduce annual carbon emissions by over 2 million tonnes.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: ‘We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low carbon industrial sector.

‘While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment – without pushing emissions and business abroad.

‘Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base.

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, commented on this report: ‘It’s good to see the government thinking strategically about how to make the most of emerging technologies to help carbon-intensive sectors cut their emissions. The government must also fully embrace the opportunities to save carbon through more efficient use of products and materials; the lowest carbon product is one you don’t make at all.

‘We now need fast action to turn these promises into a suite of concrete policies so that industry can benefit soon from energy and resource efficiency, fuel switching and, where necessary, carbon capture and storage. Taking action now is vital to futureproof industries and jobs across the UK. ‘

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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