Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the minister for clean energy, confirmed last week that the long-awaited energy white paper, which will underpin the government’s legally binding target to create a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, would be published this autumn after several delays. It is tentatively scheduled for November and is expected to follow the advice set out by the Committee on Climate Change, including support for the UK’s nascent clean hydrogen industry to help cut carbon emissions from homes and heavy industry. It may also include support for small, modular nuclear reactors, which have found favour with the prime minister’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, according to industry sources.
Guardian 21st Sept 2020 read more »
New York Climate Week kicks off today with confirmation the number of corporates and governments pledging to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest has more than doubled in the past year. The news came as the UK government also marked the opening of the annual climate summit by unveiling a series of new climate initiatives in support of its role as host of the crucial COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow next year. Sharma will later today announce the launch of the COP26 Energy Transition Council to bring together leaders in the power sector across politics, finance, and technology to speed up the transition from coal to renewables in developing countries. The UK will chair the Council alongside the co-chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). The launch comes alongside the announcement of a £50m investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) under the UK’s International Climate Finance programme. The funding is designed to help developing countries more easily access innovative clean energy technologies to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy, and storage.
Business Green 21st Sept 2020 read more »
Britain’s commitment to a net zero carbon footprint by 2050 can be the catalyst for a jobs revolution in regions beyond London and the south-east. The government is doing far too little to make it happen. As Britain confronts the unemployment crisis that will blight so many lives this winter, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has promised to be “creative” in introducing new measures to support jobs. Mr Sunak still seems stubbornly determined to end, next month, the furlough scheme that remains a lifeline for so many workers. But the misery that will ensue appears to have persuaded him that some kind of alternatives must be found. Inevitably they will be cheaper and less effective, but when the criticism comes, Mr Sunak will protest that it is not the government’s role to indefinitely prop up businesses that the pandemic has consigned to the past. What about propping up the future then? The government’s failure to develop any kind of plan to meet legally binding net zero targets has flown under the radar in recent months, as coronavirus-related chaos reigns in Whitehall. With the exception of a minimalist £2bn “green homes” grant, some new cycle routes and other minor measures, Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back better” has so far proved to be of purely alliterative value.
Guardian 20th Sept 2020 read more »