Energy UK calls for ‘net zero test’ for all government policies

The trade body says it wants to ensure the new policies support rather than undermine the new 2050 goal

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Energy UK is calling on the government to introduce a “net zero test” to ensure all new government policies support the 2050 goal.

The trade body says it wants to ensure the new policies support rather than undermine the new goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The organisation adds it has already started its reflection and engagement with stakeholders on the pathway to net zero and looks forward to working with the government and devolved administrations to ensure the transition “delivers strong benefits to society” across the country.

The call from Energy UK comes as it published its new report, which outlines the energy industry’s positive contribution to the economy, the environment and for customers, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It identified four SDGs most relevant to the sector, including climate action, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation and infrastructure and sustainable cities and communities.

The power sector has reduced its carbon emissions by 54% over the last 11 years and boosted low carbon generation which stood at 53% in 2018, with renewables alone representing 33% of generation.

Chief Executive Lawrence Slade said: “Today we are calling for a ‘net zero test’ for all new government policies to ensure they support the net zero target, not undermine it.

“Delivering net zero is not only achievable, it is critical. But it is also a game changer and we need to see a step change in the pace of action and a consistent and concerted effort across the whole of government.

“The power sector has been world leading in reducing the UK’s emissions, delivering benefits for the economy, the environment and customers but we must now go further and faster if we are to achieve this target. Our industry stands ready to work in partnership with government to deliver our shared ambition and we must start urgently. There is no time to waste.”

A BEIS spokesperson said: “We recognise the importance and urgency of taking action right across the economy and in every strand of government to deliver on our world-leading net zero target.

“We welcome Energy UK’s innovative thinking on how to ensure our decarbonisation goals are mainstreamed across all decision making and will consider its proposal carefully.”