Visit our website today, and you might see some changes. That’s because DecarboniseNow is expanding its activities. From today, we will now be running five campaign streams across multiple sectors to fight climate change in the UK.
With transport emissions remaining the highest of any sector, and the enormous potential of electric vehicles to slash that, electric transport remains our top priority. Not only do we want to see a 2030 ban on conventional cars and vans, but we want to make sure that the strongest incentives exist for a rapid transition away from oil fuelled cars and vans. To do this want to;
-Implement a binding ban by 2030 on petrol and diesel cars and vans, including hybrids.
-Roll out stronger purchase incentives for electric vehicles, such as continuing and potentially increasing the plug in car grant and temporarily scrapping VAT on electric vehicles. Also ensure that automotive companies are required to produce a certain number of electric vehicles to move in the UK market.
-Ensuring that charging infrastructure keeps pace with this rollout, and that the electrical grid gets the reinforcement capacity it needs to upgrade for electric transport.
-Introduce fiscal incentives for electric and hydrogen HGVs.
Arguably, the buildings sector has made the least progress out of any sector in the UK on reducing emissions in recent years. This is largely due to falling rates of installations of energy efficiency measures in UK homes. The government must be bold and turn this around with an ambitious home retrofit programme, slashing fuel poverty and improving living standards for millions in the process. Even with the most efficient housing stock, it is still inevitable that the UK will have to switch away from its addiction to fossil fuel heating. The UK will have to make tough decisions on whether to electrify its heating or switch to hydrogen gas – or a combination of the two. With millions of homes connected to the gas grid, this will be an enormous challenge, and is one of the biggest barriers to reducing the UK’s total emissions. We propose;
-The government currently has a target for all homes to be EPC Band C or higher by 2035, and a preferred trajectory for all non-domestic rented buildings to be EPC Band B by 2030. We want the government to commission a major government review on best practise to implement this, and commit to the necessary funding required.
-Ensure a successful implementation of low carbon heating in all new homes from 2025 or sooner.
-Ensure all off gas grid homes are switched over to heat pumps by 2030.
The backbone of decarbonisation, renewable energy has already taken off in the UK, defying critics to deliver a third of our electricity and going from the most expensive form of energy to the cheapest. But past successes don’t mean we can allow a job well done – the last surviving coal plants and a large fleet of gas turbines still power the UK. Ambitions plans for offshore wind power must be met with good plans for onshore wind and solar, and well as ensuring that the plans for all three turn into reality on the ground over the next decade. To avoid relying on gas to keep the lights on, we must also invest in a more flexible electricity grid that can take more variable energy flows. We must;
-Ensure government contracts provide the best deal for subsidy free onshore wind and solar.
-Ensure the deployment of the 40GW offshore wind target goes smoothly.
-Introduce a flexibility market for storage, demand side response, and other technologies to avoid relying on gas turbines for assistance power.
-Keep the UK in the pan-European Internal Energy Market, to ensure our imports and exports of wind power deliver value as cheaply as possible.
Industrial emissions are a patchwork sector, and will require a very wide range of solutions to tackle. But making sure it’s simply used more efficiently will be a huge boost, both for emissions reductions and economic productivity. Ensuring that manufactured products are also used more efficienctly, such as being easier to repair and having longer lifetimes, will greatly reduce industrial emissions and waste. We propose;
-Introducing greater policy incentives to match the government’s 20% industrial energy efficient target for 2030.
-Implement resource efficiency standards, especially in notable wasteful sectors such as the automotive industry and construction.
Planting more trees might seem like an obvious option, but the sheer scale and land required is a major challenge. Currently 13% of the UK is forested, and ‘hard to treat’ sectors such as the agricultural and aviation sectors are very reliant on the UK offsetting future emissions. If this land was doubled to 25% of the UK’s land area, this would offer the maximum feasible extent of forest cover, and do the most to capture the UK’s carbon emissions, and create space for nature. Therefore our goal is;
-For the UK to set a target for 25% of the UK to be forested by 2045, with relevant funding and planting rates per year supplied.
There’s going to be a lot of movement in the run up to the UN climate summit in Glasgow this year. So making sure that the UK is doing everything it can on the home front will be vital to show the world how to decarbonise and how we can end climate change for good.