Neil Schofield, head of government affairs at Worcester Bosch.
Neil Schofield, head of government affairs at Worcester Bosch, said that the industry can play its part in reducing carbon emissions from domestic heating but argued that “the time for change is now”.
He stated: “We have available to us the technologies needed to make a significant difference to the carbon emissions of the UK. A lack of political will however, has long been a barrier to tangible reductions in our carbon emissions. The government has a history of underfunding or at least under supporting carbon reducing technology alternatives and stifling their uptake.
“We only have to look to the unworkable ‘Green Deal’ that was wrapped-up in bureaucracy and unviable financial costs to see that successive governments have long-lacked the foresight and political will to make positive, fundamental changes to industry legislation.”
Mr Schofield continued: “The private sector has done a lot and continues to do so, be it developing renewable technologies or investing in feasibility studies of alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen. We call on the government departments to do more and support practical and realistic alternatives that will be financially viable and will work in the properties we have in the UK.
“It is time to end the delays, end the obfuscation and get serious on meeting our carbon reduction targets. To achieve this, the government needs to engender mass uptake of low, or as close to zero, carbon technology by employing a more interventionist approach within the industry.
“Schemes such as the £25m ‘Hy4Heat’ project are a start but they do not go far enough. £25m is a drop in the ocean of what we need to take the IPCC’s report seriously. The government should see intervention as a boon for our economy – encouraging investment in the manufacturing sector, employment in the construction industry and ending our reliance on imports of fuel.”
He concluded: “It is not enough to rely on pencilled-in projects. For instance, Phase 2b of the ‘Hy4Heat’ project is scheduled to end in March 2021, giving us just nine years to make use of the zero-carbon potential of hydrogen. With more investment from the government the industry could hasten the development of carbon alternatives.
“We cannot do this alone. Around the world, governments must sit up and take note of the looming 2030 deadline. We cannot and should not push this message off the news agenda. Other political issues pale into insignificance when climate change is on the agenda – it is high-time that the government took serious steps towards carbon-reduction.”