A net zero pathway to change

By Dr Richard Leese, Director - Industrial Policy, Energy and Climate Change, MPA

Announcements about carbon are like buses. You wait for a long time and then three come along, in the shape of the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution and last week’s commitment to cut emissions by 68% by 2030.  

Today’s (9 December) Sixth Carbon Budget from the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) completes the trio.  It is a detailed and important recommendation which sets out the policies that could drive the changes necessary over the 2020s. 

As a member of the CCC’s Industry Policy Steering Group it’s very positive to see these detailed recommendations to Government which provide a proposed pathway to net zero by 2050 and support the Prime Minister’s recent commitment to deliver a 68% reduction in carbon by 2030.  

We now need to see a net zero roadmap from Government which provides greater clarity for essential industrial sectors to help business plan ahead and ensure that the UK remains an attractive place to invest.

The CCC’s recommendations are clear about the need for technologies like carbon capture, use or storage (CCUS) and it’s now critical that the Government develops a strategy for its deployment at scale as well as a package of financial support. 

CCUS is a known technology but what needs to happen now is that it’s made to fit and work for cement production.  This is technologically achievable and important to our sector’s ‘Beyond net zero’ roadmap. 

It’s important to remember that it’s not just the concrete and cement industry that requires CCUS, it’s also critical to many other sectors and our way of life that it is deployed at scale to enable the economy to reach net zero.  

The Sixth Carbon Budget sets out the changes that consumers and businesses will need to make to help support the transition to net zero. 

The UK concrete and cement industry stands ready to support this target by 2050.  Our ‘beyond net zero roadmap sets out our commitment and strategy.

We will now build on the extensive early action that we’ve taken which has seen the sector deliver a 53 per cent reduction in absolute carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 and decarbonise faster than the UK economy as a whole.

Image: Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash​