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Tue, 26 January 2021

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A net zero pathway to change

A net zero pathway to change

Credit: MPA

Dr Richard Leese, Director - Industrial Policy, Energy and Climate Change | Mineral Products Association

3 min read Partner content

We now need to see a net zero roadmap from Government which provides greater clarity for essential industrial sectors to help business plan ahead and ensure that the UK remains an attractive place to invest.

Announcements about carbon are like buses. You wait for a long time for one and then three come along, in the shape of the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, the commitment to cut emissions by 68% by 2030 and the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget.

These were then followed by the long-awaited Energy White Paper, with an important announcement about the immediate future of carbon pricing, for which our industry and others have been calling for some time.

The announcement that the UK will establish its own ETS rather than switch to a tax is welcome but has been a long time coming.

The Sixth Carbon Budget is a detailed and important recommendation which sets out the policies that could drive the changes necessary over the 2020s.

As a member of the CCC’s Industry Policy Steering Group, it is very positive to see these detailed recommendations to Government which provide a proposed pathway to net zero by 2050 and support the Prime Minister’s recent commitment to deliver a 68% reduction in carbon by 2030.  

Carbon capture, use or storage (CCUS) is a known technology but what needs to happen now is that it is made to fit and work for cement production.

We now need to see a net zero roadmap from Government which provides greater clarity for essential industrial sectors to help business plan ahead and ensure that the UK remains an attractive place to invest.

The CCC’s recommendations are clear about the need for technologies including carbon capture, use or storage (CCUS) and it’s now critical that the Government develops a strategy for its deployment at scale as well as a package of financial support.

It is important to remember that it’s not just the concrete and cement industry that requires CCUS, which is also critical to many other sectors. It must be deployed at scale to enable the economy to reach net zero. 

CCUS is a known technology but what needs to happen now is that it is made to fit and work for cement production. This is technologically achievable and important to our sector’s ‘Beyond net zero’ roadmap.

It is important to remember that it’s not just the concrete and cement industry that requires CCUS, which is also critical to many other sectors. It must be deployed at scale to enable the economy to reach net zero. 

The UK concrete and cement industry stands ready to support this target by 2050.  The UK Concrete ‘Roadmap to Beyond Net Zero’ for concrete and cement sets out our commitment and strategy.

We will now build on the extensive early action that we have taken which has seen the sector deliver a 53 per cent reduction in absolute carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 and decarbonise faster than the UK economy as a whole.

 

 

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