Nuclear power plays a key role in the UK government’s Clean Growth Strategy, published yesterday, which defines how it aims to reduce carbon emissions across the whole economy. As part of the Climate Change Act, the government needs to cut CO2 emissions by 57% from 1990 levels by 2050. The government aims to invest GBP900 million ($1.2 billion) of public funds in innovation for the strategy. In partnership with the Research Councils and Innovate UK, this includes GBP460 million in nuclear to support work in areas including future nuclear fuels, new nuclear manufacturing techniques, recycling and reprocessing, and advanced reactor design. On policies and proposals for growing low-carbon sources of electricity, the strategy highlights the delivery of new nuclear capacity through the final investment decision last year on Hinkley Point C – under construction in Somerset, England – and the government’s intention to “progress discussions with developers to secure a competitive price for future projects in the pipeline”.
World Nuclear News 12th Oct 2017 read more »
The government has published its hotly anticipated Clean Growth Strategy promising deep cuts in CO2 across the UK economy, including a focus on low carbon innovation investment and bringing households up to higher standards on energy efficiency. The long-awaited plan was presented to Parliament on 12th Oct, following an earlier launch event in London’s Olympic Park at which climate change minister Claire Perry declared the world is “seeing a global unstoppable shift towards clean technology solutions”. “This shift offers UK business and innovators huge potential to shape the future of clean growth,” she said at the event. “By focusing on clean growth we are presented with a win-win.” The policies in the plan put the UK on track to meet the fourth carbon budget, and “reduce significantly” the current shortfall against the fifth carbon budget. However, according to the document, the UK is still on track to miss the fifth carbon budget – which runs from 2028-2032 – by 60 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent. The interim carbon budget targets are designed to keep the UK on track towards its overarching requirement to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 from 1990 levels. In a foreword to the strategy document, Prime Minister Theresa May said clean growth was “not an option, but a duty we owe to the next generation” and emphasised that protecting the environment “also benefits our wider economic prosperity”. As widely expected, the plan includes significant focus on cutting greenhouse gases from Britain’s built environment, pledging to invest £3.6bn in upgrading around a million homes through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. The aim is to upgrade all fuel poor homes to Band C standard for efficiency by 2030, and “as many homes as possible” to this standard by 2035. The government says it will build and extend heat networks across the country, backed by public funding to 2021 as allocated in the 2015 spending review, and invest around £184m – including two new £10m innovation programmes – in home efficiency and heating technologies.
Business Green 12th Oct 2017 read more »
The government has come under fire today for publishing a Clean Growth Strategy that arguably fails to meet its core goal of getting the UK back on track towards meeting its legally binding climate targets. The strategy, launched this morning at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, introduces a sweeping range of new policies to deliver emissions cuts across industry, energy, housing and transport, alongside a bold vision of an economy powered by low-carbon growth and innovation However, according to emissions projections set out in the Strategy, the measures will only take the UK around 94 per cent of the way towards emissions cuts needed under the fourth carbon budget, which runs from 2023-2027, and 90 per cent of the way towards CO2 cuts for the fifth carbon budget, which covers 2028-2032. Environmental lawyers ClientEarth have been among the most vocal in warning the government that unless it sets out a decarbonisation plan in line with the legal requirements of the Climate Change Act, it could be vulnerable to a legal challenge. In particular, the lack of policy action on aviation emissions is emerging as a cause for concern. While the CCA does not formally include aviation emissions under the carbon budgets, there is a “space” of around 41 MtCO2e in the 2050 target for aviation – any emissions over that would have to be offset by deeper cuts elsewhere.
Business Green 12th Oct 2017 read more »
RUNAWAY climate change is the single greatest threat to our survival and, in our response to avert catastrophic global warming, perhaps also the single greatest opportunity to reshape our society. But so far the plans announced to tackle it and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases fall well short of what is needed. Despite the fanfare about the “historic” Paris agreement reached in late 2015, the workings of the deal leave much to be sorted out later on. Countries are left to come up with their own plans for how much they intend to do. Yet only one (Morocco) intends to do its “fair share” of the work to limit warming to 1.5°C, and only five to limit warming to 2°C, according to the Climate Action Tracker group. Britain is not among them. Six years ago ministers admitted that the country was on course to miss the emissions targets for 2023-27. In those six years the government has not set out how it plans to get Britain back on track and the Clean Growth Strategy published yesterday changes nothing. It is, however, a good example of the Tories’ usual deception. They’ve made pleasant-sounding noises but the actual proposals will make barely a dent.
Morning Star 13th Oct 2017 read more »