The prime minister’s pledge to ban gas boilers from new homes by 2023 has been withdrawn. The promise first appeared on the Downing Street website this week attached to Mr Johnson’s climate plan. But the date was later amended, with the PM’s office claiming a “mix-up”. The original statement from Number 10 announced this goal; “2023 – Implement a Future Homes Standard for new homes, with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency.” That means no room for gas central heating, which is a major contributor to the emissions over-heating the climate.
BBC 20th Nov 2020 read more »
Heat decarbonisation to be primed by new mechanisms. The government has pledged to set out details next year of new mechanisms to help both its target to dramatically increase the uptake of heat pumps and the UK’s fledgling hydrogen and carbon capture industries. The details are included in a policy paper giving further clarity on the prime minister’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. The target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year was the only real surprise of the package and, while it still may not be going far enough, it’s probably more than any of us really expected. At the risk of wading into an often fractious debate between the two main heat decarbonisation lobbies, could we say that electrification has come out on top in this announcement?
Utility Week 18th Nov 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson is facing a fresh test of his green commitments as the UK prepares to submit its national plan on future carbon emissions, before crucial UN climate negotiations. Pressure is growing on the prime minister to come up with an ambitious national target – known as a nationally determined contribution (NDC) – on cutting emissions substantially by 2030, because the UK will host the postponed Cop26 summit next year. The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, spoke out on Thursday on the need for developed countries to step up their ambition. In a speech to the European council on foreign relations, he said: “By early 2021, countries representing more than 65% of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70% of the world economy will have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality. The 10-point plan would still leave the UK would still leave the UK lagging behind the EU and slightly behind France in the global green recovery, in a global ranking prepared by Vivid Economics for the Guardian, which also found the world was continuing to pour money into fossil fuels. If the UK were still an EU member state, it would be part of the bloc’s sharing arrangement on carbon cuts. The EU is likely to formalise a target of 55% emissions cuts overall for 2030, and that would imply emissions cuts for the UK of more than 65%, which is what some within government are basing their calculations on. The committee on climate change also found the UK could achieve a target of 65% in a report last year, though it is expected to revise its figures. But a target of less than 70% would be regarded by some other countries as failing to show a good example.
Guardian 20th Nov 2020 read more »
Charles Moore: This week, Boris Johnson promised a Green Industrial Revolution and an end to new petrol cars by 2030. He is not the first. In the Labour manifesto at the last election, on which his party went crashing to defeat, Jeremy Corbyn promised a “Green Industrial Revolution” and an end to new petrol cars by 2030. In current mainstream politics, everyone is Green, with the Left setting the pace. The only competition is to be Greener than thou. Obviously, this is a better situation than if all parties agreed they couldn’t care less about the future of the planet, but not as much of an improvement as you might imagine. The problem when all parties agree is that they stop thinking. The public suffers.
Telegraph 20th Nov 2020 read more »
Come with me to carbon-neutral Britain in 2050. We will walk there, as we often do these days, or travel by state-subsidised electric bike. Let’s start in the city. It’s less smelly, isn’t it? And much quieter, save for the birdsong. We can breathe easier. The rare cars on the roads are all electric; there are fewer roads but many more broad, sweeping cycle lanes and pedestrianised thoroughfares that were once jammed with cars. The roads are thickly lined with trees to provide shade and suck up CO2, but it is still far hotter than it was back in 2020. The housing is different. No new high rises but many medium density, wood-framed buildings, heated by hydrogen pumps, with their rooftop farms, shutters to keep out the summer heat from a warmed world and vertical gardens on every wall. There are water fountains on hundreds of street corners. Nigel Farage, still going at 86, is holding yet another rally in support of petrol cars and meat: the Great British Bangers Defence League. Night is falling, and the streets are lit by the ghostly blue glow of a million electric charging points. An autonomously driven bus glides by on hydrogen power with barely a whisper. You can hear the gentle bleating from the city farms.
Times 21st Nov 2020 read more »