Government’s ‘net zero’ pledge highlights urgency of shift to low-carbon economy

Published: 12 Jun 2019

By: NIC

Tagged: ,

Responding to today’s government commitment to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt today said the recognition of the threats from climate change was an important step, but must be followed up by tangible actions to prepare the UK economy for a low-emissions future.

The UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment published last year set out how the UK could achieve 50 per cent of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 as part of a highly renewable generation mix including offshore and onshore wind and solar generation, which will be essential to meet any net-zero target. The Commission has also called for the government to establish large-scale trials by 2021 to test the case for hydrogen and heat pumps as replacements for natural gas, and to ‘Charge Up Britain’ through a national rapid charging network to support 100% of new car and van sales being electric by 2030.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:

“Protecting the UK’s economy and environment from the impacts of climate change is a probably one of the biggest challenges we face in the decades ahead. We cannot do this without first putting in place the infrastructure we need to change how we travel and power and heat our homes and businesses.

“The National Infrastructure Assessment is a fully costed plan that would ensure that at least 50 per cent of our electricity is from renewable sources by 2030 and supports action now on determining how we heat our homes and support consumers switching to cleaner electric vehicles.

“This autumn’s National Infrastructure Strategy must be unambiguously bold in using the Assessment to set a clear and achievable path to ensure the UK becomes a low-carbon nation.”

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