The Climate change committee (CCC) has just released a new report on the progress of the UK’s decarbonisation plans and weather they are at the required level to reach net zero by 2050. In the report it was highlighted that the current policies are not likely to deliver the net zero target. The CCC have made it clear that from this report that there are a lot of departments in this country that have not started any decarbonisation policies, and if they don’t act now the planet will become uninhabitable.
Although the UK has created policies and strategies for major sectors in the UK there is still very little evidence to support any delivery of these strategies. This suggests that the chance of under delivery is high. The report looked at the UK net zero strategy, they noted that UK emissions are 47% lower than there where in 1990 and 10% lower than they were in 2019.
Although this shows that emissions are being reduced, it is not quite at the speed they need to be. The CCC believe that this is because the UK policies do not cover at least 33% of emissions. They also note that the government are yet to review tax strategies and reform legislations to help with planning towards Net Zero.
What does this mean for your business?
The CCC has made it clear from this report that a shift needs to happen across all sectors in the UK to meet net zero targets, this includes businesses. Weather you are a small or large business, there will be exceptions to align your ambitions with the government on net zero to support this transition.
One of the biggest challenges to most businesses has been reducing emissions from their office buildings. The report noted that there had been no sustained reduction in emissions from building in the last 10 years. One major component causing this is heating. There needs to be a massive uptake for low carbon heating, one way the CCC suggests that this can be done is to ensure heat pumps are being installed into all buildings across the UK.
However, there are some sectors that are more reliant on fossil fuels and are facing bigger challenges when it comes to this transition.
Transport in the UK accounted for 23% of emissions last year, this being the largest source of emissions. Although the sector does have credible strategies within the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, such as phase outs for older vehicles and strategies for charging infrastructure. The CCC suggests that there is still room for improvement within this policy such as changing the way people view mobility.
The CCC have said that the UK needs to limit the growth of traffic to 2% by 2035 to meet short term climate targets to be reached.
Manufacturing and construction
This sector accounts for 14% of UK emissions. Although these emissions have dropped massively over the past decade, emissions from this sector are still high. This sector is estimated to fall below net zero targets, with a 3% increase in transmissions. The report notes that there are many policy gaps that need to be addressed for this sector to meet demands.
The CCC has suggested that the government work to reduce energy intensity in this sector 47% by 2035. The CCC are anticipating for certain sectors within manufacturing will adopt energy management systems with around 68% taking this up by 2028. However currently not many businesses within the sector are taking up energy saving opportunities.
The report also suggests that there are little plans for electrification in this sector which would increase energy security and reduce reliance on gas in this sector.
This sector accounts for around 12% of UK emissions. The government have set out a target to reduce 34% of emissions in this sector by 2035. Methane is the primary source of emissions with the meat and dairy industry being the most significant contributor.
The CCC notes that this sector not only needs to reduce the emissions they release into the atmosphere but put in carbon capture methods to remove carbon from the atmosphere. This is especially important for those who can restore woodland. The CCC suggested that woodland needs to increase by 5% to 18% by 2050. This will overall help to reduce the UKs net emissions.
This therefore underlines the work that UK businesses need to take to achieve our net zero targets, whether 50% reduction by 2030 or net zero by 2050.
By using a carbon calculator, Resolve Net Zero can assist businesses with tracking their emissions, target savings and report progress. We can provide a holistic energy management response to improve energy-efficiency and install renewable energy solutions.
See more about how our solutions could help your business reach net zero goals today.
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