Dr. Russell Layberry
The UK's net zero strategy
The UK government — in preparation for COP 26 — has released the document “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener”. It sets out the plan to UK carbon neutrality by 2050.
It is 368 pages long, but I am going to briefly summarise it below by concentrating on firm targets, actions and fundings.
The Executive Summary is a discussion on why we are doing it.
There is a preamble for 91 pages — the reasons we are going to go to net zero, timescale and climate discussions.
Then we get to the meat on page 92.
Chapter 3 Reducing Emissions across the Economy
All electricity (1/6th of our energy needs) to be low carbon by 2035 subject to security of supply
Deliver 40 GW of offshore wind including 1 GW of floating wind turbines (roughly 4 times current capacity)
Decide about nuclear strategy over the next few years
Prototype a Carbon Capture and Storage plant
Provide £380 million for offshore wind
Smart meter roll-out
Investigate whether the government needs to support long term storage and hydrogen
3ii. Fuel Supply and Hydrogen
Ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030
Set-up hydrogen production from natural gas with carbon sequestration - £140 million
£240 million for hydrogen initiatives
Develop a transport strategy for 2022
Accelerate Carbon capture and storage and hydrogen
Carbon capture and storage — £1 billion
£315 million for energy efficiency
Investigate how to take coke out of steel production — attempt to reach net-zero for steel by 2035
3iv. Heat & Buildings
No new gas boilers by 2035
600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028
Bring heat pump costs down to gas boiler levels by 2030 (lol!)
£450 million of £5000 per house grants for heat pumps
£60 million for heat pump research
£1.75 billion for social housing
£1.425 billion for public sector buildings carbon reduction
Minimum ratings for rental properties – domestic and commercial
Decide on hydrogen and home heating by 2026
£338 million for heat networks
End the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. Hybrids by 2035.
End the sale of petrol and diesel motorbikes, lorries and buses by 2040 (subject to consultation)
£620 million for charging network
£12 billion for local transport
£2 billion for cycle lanes
£3 billion for buses
All diesel trains removed by 2040
£180 million for low carbon flights
3vi. Natural Resources, Waste & F-Gases
75% of farms to be low carbon by 2030
30,000 hectares of new woodland per year
£750 million for peat restoration and woodland creation
£295 million to biodegradable waste going to landfill
3vii. Greenhouse Gas Removals
£100 million for direct air capture of carbon — 5 MtCO2/year
Chapter 4 Innovation for net zero
Mainly a discussion on public and private sector finance — some repetition of announcements in chapter 3 and some interesting case studies.
Some good stuff in there — a lot of waffle and a lot of consulting and ambitions and launching world class frameworks etc.
Actual measures could have been got across in a couple of pages but then there’d be nothing for civil servants to do.