Posted on: 18/06/2019
Energy sector leaders have welcomed the UK Government’s decision to legislate for an end to carbon dioxide emissions but environmentalists have called for faster action.
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of trade body Energy UK, said: “This exciting commitment from the Government to meeting the 2050 net-zero target will see the UK continue its world-leading role in tackling climate change, and the energy sector is ready to lead further progress which will deliver benefits for the environment, the economy and customers.”
But Slade added: “We need to go further and faster in areas like decarbonising transport and heating and improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses. "
“This can only happen with consistent and bold policy-making from across all government departments to support the target and we look forward to working with the Government to achieve our shared ambition.”
Role for onshore wind
Further action from ministers was also top of the agenda for Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), who said: “What is needed now is clear and consistent policy that will allow for a route to market for renewable and clean technologies that will attract investors."
“From battery storage to biogas, our industry is ready to work with Government so that this transition benefits households and businesses across the country.”
Emma Pinchbeck, Deputy Chief Executive at industry body RenewableUK, added: “We need to make the best use of every technology in our toolbox, from onshore wind to wave and tidal power to energy efficiency to help fix dangerous climate change.”
But Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary, warned: “While this announcement is welcome in theory, in practice it comes from a Conservative Government that is off track to meet existing climate targets, that has no plans for legislation or investment needed to cut emissions and that has dismantled the UK renewable energy sector while pushing fracking.”
‘Fiddling the figures’
Friends of the Earth Chief Executive Craig Bennett said “2050 is still too slow to address catastrophic climate change” and added: “In the dying days of a premiership characterised by chronic inaction on climate breakdown, this sends a powerful message to industry and investors that the age of fossil fuels is over."
“But it is disappointing that the government has ignored its climate advisors’ recommendation to exclude carbon offsets – as well as caving into Treasury pressure to review the target in five years’ time."
“Fiddling the figures would put a huge dent in our ability to avoid catastrophic climate change – and the government’s credibility for taking this issue seriously.”