The UK is truly a world-leader when it comes to reducing emissions, and the progress we’ve made over the last decade has been remarkable.
On national energy consumption, for instance, our transition to renewable sources has made unbelievable progress. Coal, a significant contributor to emissions, comprised 14.9% of the UK’s energy needs in 2010; this number fell to 3.4% in 2021. Meanwhile, renewable energy - a much lower emitter - comprised 4% in 2010, rising to 14.6% in 2021.
On carbon emissions, this important work continues. Under successive Conservative governments, we have decarbonised our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades. This is demonstrated in the below graphics, and is a key component of this Government’s broader long-term policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The Government recognises that there is further work to be done, and as Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, rightly says, we “must continue to drive forward progress, setting a standard for other countries to follow”.
The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for the changes needed to secure our energy, create jobs and new industries, and end the UK's contribution to climate change. The UK can rapidly cut carbon emissions, while creating new jobs, new technologies and future-proof industries that will generate economic growth for decades to come.
Objectives within the Strategy include:
- Produce enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we currently produce to 50GW by 2030, thereby supporting up to 60,000 jobs
- Mobilise £12 billion of Government investment to create and support 250,000 highly skilled green jobs across the UK
- Invest £1 billion to make our schools, hospitals, and homes more energy efficient
- Work with industry and aim to generate 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power, and homes
- Develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade
- Become a world leader in carbon capture technology to store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030
- Invest £525 million in nuclear as a clean energy source, developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors and supporting 10,000 jobs
- Install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028
- Plant 30,000 hectares of trees every year
I am proud to be part of a Government committed to tackling climate change and building back greener, putting the UK in the best possible position to reap the benefits of a green industrial revolution.