The UK’s fifth carbon budget, announced in parliament by Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has set out a new legally binding emissions reduction target for 2030. Phil Hurley, managing director at renewable heating manufacturer NIBE (pictured), has praised the carbon budget’s long-term commitment to tackling climate change – but has called for more robust action in the wake of the EU referendum.
Phil comments: “There’s no denying the uncertainty that's facing the renewable heating industry following the decision to leave the EU. Whilst we still have a long way to go before stability returns, the long-term goal set out in today’s fifth carbon budget is an important first step. Amber Rudd has confirmed that we will be subject to a legally binding target to cut emissions by 57% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). This much-needed injection of confidence shows that the government is still very much committed to building a lower carbon future for the UK. Despite all the unanswered questions about our ongoing relationship with the rest of Europe – and how this will impact a renewable heating industry that’s been largely driven by EU directives – the UK now has a 2030 target that’s significantly more ambitious than the EU’s own.
“If we’re going to meet this target, renewable heat has a crucial role to play. What we need now is a clear strategy to support deployment of renewable heating technologies on the necessary scale – including meeting the challenge of installing 6.8 million domestic heat pumps by 2030. This means reassurance about the future of current legislative frameworks. Priorities should be the ErP (Energy-related Products) Directive, as well as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): a world-first scheme that firmly positioned the UK as a global renewables pioneer.
“As a European company and a huge advocate of the British renewable heating industry, here at NIBE, we remain confident about the new emissions target. With ongoing investment in product development and installer training, the UK has the technology and the installer talent to make the numbers work. It’s now up to the government to make the next move.”
Claire Jakobsson, Head of Energy and Environment Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “The announcement from the Government, setting the Fifth Carbon Budget in line with the Committee on Climate Change's recommendation, is to be welcomed not least by those manufacturers sitting in many of the UK’s low carbon supply chains.
“With the unprecedented level of uncertainty created by last week’s referendum result, it is essential that the Government looks to provide stability and continuity where it is able to. Confirming the Fifth Budget at this level provides a positive signal that whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU is to be, the scale of our emissions reduction ambitions and the direction of travel will remain unchanged.
“Government must now work closely with industry to develop the detail that will underpin this target, ensuring a framework that helps our most energy intensive industries decarbonise competitively, but also drawing on the strengths of UK manufacturing to ensure the UK economy feels the full economic benefit of our decarbonisation drive.”