The industry Comments on Climate Change Committee Sixth Carbon Budget

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  Posted by: electime      10th December 2020

CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget a ‘missed opportunity’, says GVN:

The Gas Vehicle Network, GVN, has expressed disappointment at the Climate Change Committee’s report on the Sixth Carbon Budget. The report, which calls for rapid decarbonisation of transport, overlooked the potential for widely available biofuels, including renewable gas, to slash emissions from heavy goods vehicles, which account for a disproportionate share of the UK’s transport emissions.

Isaac Occhipinti, head of external affairs at GVN, said: “Transport is the single largest sector for carbon emissions so we all know it needs to be decarbonised quickly for us to meet our Net Zero objectives. It is, therefore, a missed opportunity for the CCC to have ignored the enormous potential of biofuels, including renewable gas, to bring down carbon emissions from HGVs.”

“Biomethane, for example, is readily available today, in use and cannot only reduce carbon emissions from HGVs by at least 84 per cent compared to diesel, it can also save fleet operators an average of £29,000 a year per vehicle (52 per cent of typical fuel costs). This is a clear win-win for HGV fleet owners and managers as well as policymakers who want to see progress on transport decarbonisation as soon as possible.”

“Not content with the immediate 84 per cent carbon savings, The renewable gas fuels industry is already fuelling with biomethane, produced from waste to achieve even greater greenhouse gas emissions. In the near future, carbon negative transport biofuels will also be developed, pushing their decarbonisation potential even further. A carbon neutral, no regrets fuel, available for one of the most difficult to decarbonise sectors, is not something that the CCC should overlook.”

“Biofuels are increasingly popular, with many operators committing to switching their fleets to run on gas. The CCC and Government should avoid picking ‘winners’ and instead allow the market to innovate and further develop these carbon neutral solutions which work on the ground. That is what we are already seeing so I hope that the Government will give our biofuel and renewable gas industry the backing it deserves.”

IMechE Comments:

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers welcomes the ambitious decarbonisation plan as set out in the Climate Change Committee’s 6th Carbon Budget. We hope the nation will embrace this as an opportunity for growing engineering skills and economic renewal across the whole of the UK.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, Chief Engineer at the Institution, said:

“Reducing emissions by 80% by 2035 will require investment in technical skills as well as rapid reform to energy system standards and regulations. We will also need to develop innovative new financing mechanisms, and potentially change planning laws. This must all be driven in parallel while simultaneously ensuring the public are confident in this fast-moving transition to a net zero emissions future.

While we need to act quickly, we must also be flexible. We do not yet know what the best solutions will be in areas like aviation, shipping and road transport or the best solutions for residual wastes. Until new technologies demonstrate performance in the market and we are embracing a circular economy, the Government should continue to support R&D and invest in the commercial-scale demonstration of a wide range of emerging technologies so that we can find out what works best, without locking us into a sub-optimal path.

Technical challenges will occur and when they do, the professional engineering community will be there to provide support and continue to solve problems ensuring we meet the demands of this carbon budget.”

Sanjay Neogi – Head of UK and Europe – Enzen Group,  says:

“The 6th carbon budget highlights that the journey to net zero will involve a significant transformation of our energy use. As such, we need a plan to match, with a clear end goal and the steps to get us there. Investors, consumers and businesses need to make decisions today to help us reach our 2035 decarbonisation target of 78%. We can clearly identify the pillars of change from heating and buildings to waste, transport and aviation. But the success of this transformation will depend on getting the details right. Crucially, we can’t make such changes in isolation and need a joined-up approach across all aspects of energy efficiency to ensure the transformation delivers maximum benefit.”