Another week, another positive “net zero” announcement from UK Government.

Boris Johnson has today announced that the UK will aim to cut its carbon emissions by at least 68% of what they were in 1990 by the end of 2030.  However, industry and the scientific community both say that action is needed right now to back this up.

This announcement comes in short order following the release of Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which included really positive commitments including:

  • 40GW of offshore wind, including 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030
  • 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, with more detail expected in next year’s Hydrogen Strategy
  • an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 (brought forward from 2040) and investment in the electrification of public transport including buses and railways
  • additional investment in, and policy announcements in respect of, decarbonisation of homes and buildings and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028
  • on Carbon Capture, Usage & Storage (CCUS) a target of 10mt CO2 to be captured by 2030 supported by new funding to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s

These headline announcements need more detail. There are a number of significant policy announcements due in the weeks and months ahead which should fill in the details including the Energy White Paper, the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Treasury’s net zero review.  We hope that these, when they come, show joined up thinking across Government.  The route to net zero requires action across the economy, including in transport, food production and the built environment. Getting the complex policy detail right will be key in turning these targets into measurable emissions reductions.