As we pass the 150 days since COP26 milestone, focus now needs to be on accelerating progress on the road to Net Zero. This means working with stakeholders, clients and partners to move beyond the pledges and start the action plans for delivery in order to help us and them achieve Net Zero.
Net Zero is a climate venture specialising in long-term carbon removal from the atmosphere.
Climate change (Global warming) refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.
In simple terms – ‘Net Zero’ refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere.
What is the UK’s plan for Net Zero?
The UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy sets out how the country will unlock £90 billion in investment to reach ‘Net Zero’ emissions by 2050.
The strategy, which builds on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan, outlines the support that will be provided to businesses and consumers in the transition to clean energy and green technology – including reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels and switching to low carbon travel options like electric vehicles.
The National Grid ESO (NGESO) annual report consists of four pathways, leading the pathway for United Kingdom to achieve Net Zero by the year 2050.
The main aim is to achieve decarbonisation in all four scenarios. According to the estimations, all the three scenarios would reach Net Zero by 2050.
Future Energy Scenarios with the speed of decarbonisation
UK emissions were 48% below 1990 levels in 2020. This reduction reflects the impact COVID-19 had on emissions in 2020, much of which is not expected to be permanent. The fall in emissions between 2019 and 1990 was 40%.
The first (2008-12) and the second carbon budget (2013-17) have been met and the UK is on track to meet the third (2018-22) carbon budget, but is not on track to meet the fourth, which covers the period 2023-27 or the fifth, which covers (2028-32).
Crucially, these budgets were set against the previous target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. The new Net Zero target (at least 100% reduction by 2050) means that progress will need to accelerate. (theccc)
Why Net Zero by 2050?
There are a few reasons why the target date set by the UK Government is 2050. But it’s important to remember that if we are to reach this target by the middle of this century, considerable changes will need to take place well before that date, and ideally before 2030.
If other countries follow the UK’s lead and reach Net Zero emissions by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change advised there would be a 50% chance of avoiding a ‘catastrophic’ 1.5°C temperature rise by the year 2100.
The year 2050 was also seen as the first realistic date for Net Zero emissions to be achieved, balancing the urgent need to take action with the inevitable impact on the economy.
There are different official carbon targets for different parts of the UK. Scotland, for example, has committed to Net Zero emissions by 2045, while Wales has aligned with the UK target of 2050 but with ambitions to get there sooner.
And the Committee on Climate Change has advised Northern Ireland to cut carbon emissions by at least 82% by 2050, after noting that the country’s agricultural emissions would likely prevent it from reaching Net Zero in the next 30 years.
How is U Energy helping its customers achieve Net Zero?
Our Core Net Zero Commitments