The UK is readied to become the very first significant economy to commit to reaching “Net Zero” Carbon Emissions by 2050. The statement made by the government last week (June 2019) has been widely rated as a substantial but achievable goal.
However, the fixing our global climate will require results. It’s going to require a whole lot more than honorable intentions, and also the tough work of actually lowering the carbon blowing out of millions of chimneys and exhausts is only in its infancy.
Our everyday lives are set to be changed in very many ways. How we power our residences, travel, feed ourselves and farm our land will all have to change.
Some remarkable adjustments are occurring already. Brand-new coal-free records are being established in electricity generation almost weekly right-now. In transport, diesel and petrol autos are pledged to be eliminated in the UK by 2040. Developed zero-emissions innovations like wind and solar energy are all quickly growing.
Substantial obstacles still continue to be present, such as just how to decarbonise building emissions, which might be pricey and also mean building work to bring the needed changes to countless homes.
The UK has actually currently decreased discharges by around 44 per cent since 1990 and also the net close to no carbon emissions by 2050 promised is likely to result in more investment and also innovation in renewable resources.
Well, that’s the background, and how will this affect the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry?
Continue by reading the following ADBA Press release, and you’ll find out!
ADBA Press Release:
ADBA Welcomes Government Moves to UK ‘Net Zero’ Emissions by 2050
In this press release:
- UK Government to tighten up 2050 emissions targets after recommendation from CCC
- Pledge toughens up 2008 Climate Change Act
- ADBA calls for incoming Prime Minister to commit to plans
The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association has welcomed Government plans to cut UK emission to almost zero by 2050, a strengthening of existing 2050 targets to reduce emissions by 80% under the 2008 Climate Change Act. This follows a recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change last month and rising public pressure.
By converting organic wastes and crops into renewable heat and power, clean transport fuel, and soil-restoring natural fertiliser, AD can contribute to a 10% cut in worldwide emissions. Crucially, AD reduces emissions from hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as heat, transport, and agriculture, as well as from the power sector and from waste.
Commenting, ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said;
“It is excellent news that the Prime Minister has committed the Government to a net zero plan for emissions by 2050, taking note of Parliament’s calling of a climate emergency and urgings from the Committee on Climate Change. Anaerobic digestion and biogas have a vital part to play in cutting emissions both here in the UK and worldwide, and we would urge other nations to take note of the UK Government’s decision. It is reassuring that most of the contenders for the next Conservative leader and therefore Prime Minister have committed to the net zero 2050 pledge and would urge whoever wins to take forward this ambitious plan into legislation, and hope the House of Commons will support it.
Crucially, as a technology-ready solution that can tackle climate change right across the economy, it’s vital that government recognises and rewards the many benefits of AD so it can make the maximum contribution to decarbonisation at speed and scale. Policies such as the introduction of separate food waste collections in England will make a significant contribution to this, and AD is the Government’s preferred method for recycling that food we cannot utilise up the value chain – this simple change will hugely help us cut our carbon emissions by taking organic material away from landfill and incineration.”
How Has the UK Been Performing on It’s Climate Change Pledges So Far?
In 2015, the UK along with over 190 other countries signed up to the Paris Agreement and established Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to decarbonise the global economy and limit the global rise in temperature to below 2°C.
However, two separate reports released toward the end of 2018, by the Grantham Research Institute and Climate Action Network respectively, found that most countries were not on course to hit their targets.
Through the Climate Change Act the government has committed to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 80% against 1990 levels.
The target in the Act was based on scientific analysis which said this was what was required to keep temperature rises below 2°C.
To meet these targets, five-yearly carbon budgets were established, which currently run until 2032.
They restrict the amount of greenhouse gas the UK can legally emit in a five-year period. The UK is currently in the third carbon budget period (2018-2022) (see table). UK emissions were 43% below 1990 levels in 2017.
The first carbon budget (2008-2012) was met and the UK is currently on-track to outperform on the second (2013-2017) and third (2018-2022).
However, it is not on track to meet the fourth (2023-2027).
“To meet future carbon budgets and the 80% target for 2050, the UK will need to reduce emissions by at least 3% a year, from now on. This will require the government to apply more challenging measures,” the Climate Change Committee says.
If the UK is to achieve those targets it urgently has to address carbon emissions from heat and transport, which combined account for 46% of total emissions, at 26% and 20% respectively.
The immediate and most readily available solution to these challenges is biogas; which from the single source of AD can be used to immediately contribute towards the decarbonisation of both the transport and heat sectors as well as agriculture, which stubbornly accounts for 10% of the UK’s total emissions.