In the past year, the UK Government has shown renewed commitment to its net zero ambitions. The recent Powering Up Britain announcements outlined ambitions to secure energy independence and security, and diversify and decarbonise UK energy production.
Despite this, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has echoed calls from across the low carbon sector that highlight the oversaturation of strategies, promises and commitments, and a lack of action to deliver these. “Genuine leadership” has been seen as leaders seek to embrace a Net Zero future, but “Ministers seem less willing to put that programme at the centre of their stated aims”.
The CCC’s Annual Progress Report has outlined the need for greater focus on delivery of climate ambitions to reinstate the UK as a “credible, impactful climate leader on the international stage”, delivering real-world action and advancing progress on initiatives. Progress has been noted to be too slow in multiple areas of policy, including hydrogen storage, greenhouse gas removal and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The rollout of low carbon heating systems has also been a key theme in the report, with the rollout of heat pumps at just one-ninth of the 600,000 yearly installations needed by 2028. The report has highlighted the CCC’s weakening confidence in the UK hitting its medium-term Carbon Budget Delivery Plan targets. The Government must take this seriously and raise the pace for the delivery of overall Net Zero initiatives.
However, whilst it is evident that the UK has a long way to go, there have been numerous indicators of progress across the industry. Electric car sales have continued to grow ahead of the CCC’s pathway, and there has been a positive increase in the UK’s renewable energy capacity. Despite this, action is still significantly off track in a range of areas, and progression cannot wait until the next election.
Gemserv Briefing document
Having read the CCC 2023 Progress Report, Gemserv has produced a briefing document detailing these areas in further with recommendations. To access this document please click below.