BEIS Select Committee urges Action from Andrea Leadsom
Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Select Committee, has written to the new Secretary of State for BEIS to press for action on a series of policy fronts such as electric vehicles, carbon capture and energy efficiency, in order to meet the net-zero target. She is calling for stronger BEIS-Treasury collaboration to ensure that Treasury's Net Zero funding review considers not only the costs, but also the benefits, of delivering the new target.
She has set out a number of recommendations for the Government:
- We recommend the Government brings forward a clear, precise target for new sales of cars and vans to be truly zero emission by 2032.
- The Government should acknowledge that petrol and diesel will ultimately need to be fully phased out from cars and vans. We recommend the Government phase out non plug-in, and all but the cleanest plug-in, hybrid vehicles. This should include more stringent zero emission range requirements for plug-in hybrids to ensure that vehicles deliver on targeted emissions reductions.
- We recommend the Government aim to develop and commission first CCUS projects in at least three clusters by 2025, to minimise the risk of a third major delay to the technology's development and to ensure that its benefits for productivity accrue to industries across the UK.
- The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the UK should sequester 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2030, and at least 20 million tonnes by 2035. The levels of sequestration needed to put the UK on track to deliver Net Zero may well be greater. We recommend the Government asks the CCC to provide updated advice on the levels of carbon dioxide sequestration needed by 2030 and 2035 to put the UK on track for the Net Zero target, and sets specific targets for 2030 and 2035 in line with this advice.
- We recommend that upgrading the energy efficiency of all buildings across the UK is designated a national infrastructure priority, delivered through a properly funding infrastructure programme. To meet the Government's fuel poverty and energy efficiency targets, we recommend that ECO is supplemented by centrally funded local authority schemes, and a further national funding safety net. This is together with a comprehensive and varied package of incentives for "able to pay" homeowners, including low interest loans and a stamp duty incentive.
Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Select Committee said:
- I welcome Andrea Leadsom as the new Secretary of State. With the Government committed to the Net Zero target by 2050 but currently set up to fail to deliver on the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, it is clear the new Secretary of State will need to hit the ground running. She will need to act quickly to ramp up efforts on the policies and actions crucial to tackling climate change and capitalising on the opportunities of a low-carbon economy.
- The BEIS Committee has made a series of recommendations to drive forward progress – in areas such as electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and on carbon capture and storage – which I hope the Secretary of State will be ready and willing to act upon.
- The Secretary of State should also seek to overcome Treasury resistance and ensure that her colleague at No11 examines the potential benefits as well as the costs of the transition to Net Zero. The Government should also overcome its ideological opposition to on-shore wind – the cheapest form of electricity generation in the UK – and set out plans to fulfil this technology's huge potential.
- We look forward to questioning the Secretary of State later this year and pressing her on her commitment to the policies needed to deliver on the UK's climate change obligations.
The BEIS Committee recently joined with five other select committees of the House of Commons (Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury) to announce plans to hold a Citizens' Assembly on combatting climate change and achieving the pathway to net zero carbon emissions.
Priorities for Combating Climate Change
The GSHPA believes Andrea Leadsom should focus on the Decarbonisation of Heat in order for the UK to meet its declared target of Net Zero by 2050.
The only current practical and affordable route to the decarbonisation of heating and cooling is to invest in heat pumps. Heat pumps issue no CO2 on site and no NO2 either. The electricity they use is already being decarbonised fast as the Grid decarbonises.
It is now time to focus on the decarbonisation of heating and cooling.