UK water industry unveils plan to cut emissions by 10m tonnes

Water UK’s Routemap sets out the industry’s vision for how companies will play their part in tackling climate change and deliver a net zero water supply for customers by 2030

The water industry in the UK has unveiled a new plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tonnes.

Water UK’s Net Zero 2030 Routemap sets out the industry’s vision for how water companies – which together produce almost a third of UK industrial and waste process emissions – will play their part in tackling climate change and deliver a net zero water supply for customers by 2030.

It offers a 10-point plan for decarbonisation, including recommendations for government and regulators to help protect customer bills and keep investment costs down while supporting the development of green skills and nature-based solutions.

The Routemap identifies a variety of technologies and initiatives, including producing biomethane from sewage waste, allowing green gas to be injected into the grid to heat up to 150,000 homes and for use as an alternative fuel for transport.

In addition, it identifies the need to develop up to 3GW of new solar and wind generation capacity – enough to meet 80% of the sector’s power demands – restore 20,000 hectares of owned peatland and grassland and plant of 11 million trees as well as the electrification of 100% of passenger vehicles and transition of 80% of commercial vehicles to alternative fuels.

Christine McGourty, Water UK Chief Executive said: “This Routemap is a crucial step forward in setting out the industry’s vision for tackling climate change as we work towards a green and resilient recovery for society, the economy and the environment.

“We don’t have all the answers and we can’t do it alone. But with the support of government, regulators and the supply chain, we believe we can deliver a net zero water supply for customers that also helps build the green skills and solutions needed to protect the environment for generations to come.”

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