UK provides global model for carbon emission cuts
Action to cut emissions is blueprint for world
Britain’s action to cut carbon gases could provide a blueprint for the rest of the world, according to a new report by power firm SSE and KPMG.
Climate emissions have cut by the UK faster than in any other country, setting an example to world leaders who will gather at COP26 in Glasgow in November to agree a plan to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees.
Martin Pibworth, SSE group energy and commercial director, said: “The UK has driven decarbonisation at a faster rate than any other country on the planet and learnt some lessons – good and bad – along the way.
“The UK has 13 years of post Climate Change Act experience to offer the international community as they design their own blueprints for achieving net zero.
“Legally binding targets, focussing on decarbonising electricity first as the key to wider decarbonisation, and stable long term support mechanisms have all ensured remarkable progress on decarbonisation whilst keeping the lights on and costs down.
“This is a fantastic success story and shows what can be done with the right policies in place.
“Despite huge successes there remain challenges ahead and the UK has not yet achieved sufficient investment in low carbon flexible electricity generation despite good progress on carbon capture and storage.
“This progress needs replicating for technologies such as hydro pumped storage, hydrogen power generation and batteries, all of which will be integral to a net zero power system.”
Report author Simon Virley, KPMG vice chairman, said: “With the majority of the world’s economy now signed up to net zero targets the focus needs to shift to how those goals can be met at a local, national and global level.
“We need practical solutions coupled with robust frameworks and governance to build a credible path to a low-carbon future.”
As well as the UK’s successes the report also outlines where more work is needed in areas like electricity market design to deal with lower electricity prices from low cost renewables, anticipatory investment in networks and transmission charging in order to facilitate technologies in their ideal locations. It highlights the need to make progress in decarbonising heat and transport.
COP president Alok Sharma said: “I am determined that COP26 will consign coal power to history and help keep the 1.5 degree target alive.
“Last month the G7 agreed to end all new direct government support for international coal power by the end of 2021. We are seeing real progress but we know there is more to do.”