Research

Net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – government climate advisors

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Photo: DrillOrDrop

The UK should phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said today.

The official adviser to the government on climate change said the target should be put into law as soon as possible. The reductions were achievable with known technologies alongside improvements in people’s lives, it said.

The target is the most ambitious so far recommended by the CCC and follows the Paris Climate Agreement and a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the implications of a 1.5C rise in temperature.

It comes as MPs approved a motion last night to declare an environment and climate emergency. The Welsh Assembly also backed a climate emergency yesterday. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, declared a climate emergency at the SNP conference at the weekend.

“Clear policies needed to meet targets”

The CCC said Scotland should achieve net zero emissions by 2045 because it has a greater capacity to remove emissions than the UK as a whole.

Wales has less opportunity for carbon storage and relatively high emissions from farming so it should achieve a 95% reduction by 2050, it said.

To meet the targets, the CCC said “clear, stable and well-designed policies” must be introduced across the economy, including international flights and shipping.

The CCC called for “strong leadership” at the heart of government and policies must be designed with both business and consumers in mind.

“Government must set the direction and provide the urgency. The public will need to be engaged if the transition is to succeed.”

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said:

“We can all see that the climate is changing and it needs a serious response. The great news is that it is not only possible for the UK to play its full part – but it can be done within the cost envelope that Parliament has already accepted.

“The Government should accept the recommendations and set about making the changes needed to deliver them without delay.”

190502 CCC reportToday’s report comes 10 years after the passing of the Climate Change Act, the world’s first legally-binding long-term emissions target. This set a target of an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 19990 levels by 2050.

Recommendations

The CCC said serious plans were needed to clean up heating systems in UK buildings. New approaches to low-carbon heating and energy efficiency were needed, with changes to the fabric of homes, it said.

The country needed to deliver technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and make changes to the way we use land. Diets needed to shift to lower beef, lamb and dairy consumption.

All new cars and vans should be electric by 2035, if not sooner. Arrangements were needed by the mid-2020s for zero emission heavy goods vehicles. Biodegradable waste should not be sent to landfill after 2025 and the supply of low-carbon power must expand rapidly. Potent fluorinated gases must be phased out and there should be increased tree planting.

Fossil fuels

pnr 180828 fence slider

Fencing outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site, 18 August 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

The report makes no specific reference to UK onshore gas or oil production, shale gas or fracking. But the recommendations have implications for gas use and fossil fuel industries.

The CCC said a 32% reduction in gas consumption and 82% in oil consumption was needed by 2050.

Boilers running on natural gas would need to be replaced with low carbon heating systems. These could include smart electric heating, heat pumps or boilers powered by hydrogen. The hydrogen was assumed to be made from natural gas in conjunction with carbon capture and storage, it said.

A small amount of biogas could be used in gas-fired CCS power generation and to displace natural gas in industry and buildings

Current gas distribution networks would be decommissioned or repurposed for hydrogen if feasible.

Significant reductions in gas use across buildings, industry and power would be offset by new demand for gas to produce hydrogen. But it would still mean the UK would become less dependent on gas imports. Dependency on oil imports would all fall, it said.

Costs and benefits

The CCC said rapid reductions in costs of offshore wind and batteries for electric vehicles meant that the net zero emissions target could be met at an annual cost of 1-2% of gross domestic product up to 2050. It said the costs must be, and be perceived to be, fair.

The report said there would be benefits from a low carbon economy, including better air quality, less noise, more cycling and walking, healthier diets and increased use of land for recreation.

It said:

“Currently the general public has a low awareness of the need to move away from natural gas heating and what the alternatives might be. There is a limited window to engage with people over future heating choices, to understand their preferences and to factor these into strategic decisions on energy infrastructure.

Reaction

Campaign groups

Friends of the Earth said the UK can and should go faster towards net zero emissions than the CCC recommendations. It has produced a Climate Action Plan that the government should implement to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. It covers transport, buildings, green jobs, and the UK’s contribution to helping vulnerable countries, as well as aiming for 100% clean energy and stopping airport expansion.

FOE’s climate campaigner, Aaron Kiely, said:

“The world’s scientists have told us that every additional half-degree of warming really matters. A target that slashes the UK’s emissions, and therefore our overall contribution to climate change, is desperately needed.

“While this is a massive body of important and credible work, it needs to inject more urgency. A roughly fifty-fifty chance of exceeding 1.5 degrees is worse odds than Russian roulette. Every government across the globe should be aiming to get to net zero as soon as possible.

“By ramping up some measures, for example by aiming to double tree cover rather than a slight increase, the UK could get to net zero sooner. The Committee are saying that net zero is possible by 2050 but that doesn’t mean we should accept this as the height of ambition. There are no speed cameras on the road to net zero, we can and must go faster.”

Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said:

‘Climate change is the greatest threat facing the countryside. From prolonged heatwaves and moorland wildfires, to severe and more frequent flooding, our countryside is under severe pressure from the impact of climate breakdown – but it will also provide many of the solutions.

‘By prioritising policies and funding that will see better land use, dramatically reduce emissions from agriculture, increase the planting of hedgerows and trees, and restore our peatlands, we can drive carbon back into the ground. Our transition to renewable energy must intensify and a deadline set for the phasing out of fossil fuels. The government’s pro-fracking agenda must be dropped altogether.’

Politicians

The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is to hear evidence on 8 May on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first session, on 8 May, will hear from climate specialists. The energy minister, Claire Perry, will give evidence at a later date.

The chair of the committee, the Labour MP Rachel Reeves, said:

 “We are facing a climate change emergency and I welcome the Committee on Climate Change’s report which sets out a compelling case for the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Achieving this target will not be without its challenges, but it is vital that Government commits to net-zero and brings forward the policies needed for the UK to deliver it and capitalise on the future industrial opportunities offered by pursuing clean growth.

“We are currently not on target to meet the UK’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets, let alone achieve net zero so the stark reality is that the UK Government has a lot to do to help deliver a better planet for our children. On onshore wind, on electric vehicles, on carbon capture and storage, and on a range of other transport and energy areas such as energy efficiency, the Government needs to up its game and come forward with the policies, actions, and regulations needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“As a Committee, we will over the coming weeks be examining how to implement the 2050 target and holding the UK Government to account for its response to this challenge”.

Industry

Francis Egan Cuadrilla

Francis Egan, CEO Cuadrilla  Source: Cuadrlla

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:

“We note that the Committee on Climate Change report published today recognises that we will continue to be using significant quantities of natural gas in the UK out to 2050 and beyond in conjunction with  Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and in producing hydrogen as an alternative energy for the future.

“We also note the assumption in the report that the CO2 and methane emissions generated in importing natural gas into the UK over huge distances by ship and by pipeline are not to be accounted for by the UK.  Imported gas therefore lands into the UK effectively emission free. This smacks of creative carbon accounting and is not a credible or safe assumption.

“All concerned about addressing climate change should accept that using natural gas extracted here in the UK, such as the 1,300 trillion cubic feet beneath our feet in the Bowland Shale, is environmentally far more responsible than importing gas from thousands of miles away.

“The committee’s report highlights some tough proposals if we are to become net zero by 2050, but it is also clear that our demand for gas will remain and could be 86% imported gas by then if we don’t establish our own source.

“For these reasons we urge the Government to support our request for a review of the regulations and assist the onshore shale gas industry in becoming commercially viable and assisting the country in achieving our ambitious climate change aims.”

UKOOG, the industry organisation for onshore oil and gas said:

UK Onshore Oil and Gas, (UKOOG), notes the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations today including the absolute need for both Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and hydrogen production. We further note that the working assumption is that the hydrogen used is assumed to come mainly from natural gas reformation in the UK with CCS as this appears to be the lowest cost option. The hydrogen will be used in both the electricity and heating sectors.

The Committee also pointed out that gas consumption in 2050 will be 600 TWh against an estimate for UK production of only 85 TWh. In addition, oil consumption will be 140 TWh against an estimate of 130 TWh for UK production.

This means that without onshore gas and oil there will be a considerable import dependency (as high as 86%) even under net zero conditions. A BEIS report published just last week concluded that the pre-combustion production, processing and transport of liquified natural gas, (LNG),  generates double the amount of greenhouse gas emissions compared with a domestic supply.

We therefore believe the economic and environmental case for onshore gas and oil in the UK is as strong today as it ever has been.

63 replies »

  1. I’m not sure where the BBC got their information but this report (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48122911) says that “the committee says we should only use fracked gas in the UK if it substitutes for gas that would otherwise be imported as the UK transitions to a low-carbon economy”. Given that the whole intention of the governments support for the shale gas industry in the UK is to reduce imports then it seems that the CCC is in favour of shale gas production in the UK. I’ve not had time to read the entire report in detail but it does appear to reinforce the fact that gas will be used in the UK for a significant period of time both for electricity generation and hydrogen production.

    • Judith, I totally agree. Using fracked gas will save on imports via LNG tankers and hence assist the targets. It’s a no-brainer.

    • Judith – I can’t find any reference to fracking, fraccing, hydraulic fracturing or fracked gas in either the technical or summary reports. It is odd that the BBC reported that. Maybe it was an off the cuff response to a question at the press conference?

      The concept of substitution is slippery here as it would need to be substitutive (and not additive) on a global level . I’m sure we can both agree that substitution at a national level whilst not being able to guarantee that the substituted gas is not burned elsewhere on the globe would be of no great benefit from a climate change perspective.

      I genuinely was not aware that “the whole intention of the governments support for the shale gas industry in the UK is to reduce imports”. Where do you get that from?

      The report does indeed detail a role for gas, but as I said above, it seems to be totally agnostic on where that gas comes from, or have I missed something?

      • It comes from the DUKES or National Grid FES – I forget which – will keep you busy looking it up today John.

        • @Paul – What comes for Dukes (BEIS) / FES (National Grid)? The quote about “we should only use fracked gas in the UK if it substitutes for gas that would otherwise be imported as the UK transitions to a low-carbon economy”? If so why is the BBC attributing it to the CCC which is not BEIS or National Grid?

          @Judith – indeed but it seems we have an issue with CCS – it doesn’t really exist in any way that suggests a commercial scale within the timescales being discussed does it. That is a real problem.

          I don’t see how importing our gas will cause other countries to consume more either. That really was not what I was saying.

          • Refracktion – there are some reasonably sized CCS projects in the USA and several places that are even storing it below cities – which i’m sure wouldn’t be allowed in the UK. There are not real show stoppers to full scale development other than cost. Although, I remember talking to the head of HSE for the UK some years ago and he was very worried about piping high pressured CO2 large distances across the UK; compared to shale gas extraction that really is very risky.

            Sorry I must have misunderstood what you meant by substitutive

            • But do you believe that commercial scale CCS is within our grasp within these timescales Judith? Genuine question. If cost were the only barrier then clearly is would be as political will can overcome cost barriers if the case is strong enough (and we probably all agree it is).

              • Refracktion – I think CCS could be developed on a commercial scale quite quickly. The initial capture systems will be quite expensive but should improve rapidly. The storage is pretty easy but some of the prospective sites might not be as good as are thought. Neither problem is a show stopper.

                • Refracktion – you asked whether something was possible – if there was an evidence-base you wouldn’t have needed to ask the question. All I can give is my opinion. However, it’s worth remembering that when the petroleum industry wants to do something they can do it quickly. Just read about the history of the Brent field. It was around 5 years from discovery to putting in place structures that are larger than the Eiffel Tower.

                • Well no Judith – I asked if you thought commercial scale CCS is within our grasp within these timescales, not whether it was theoretically possible. So we are both agreeing that there isn’t any real evidence that CCS is a realistic prospect commercially yet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that it can’t be, but equally I am a bit sceptical based on what I have read that it will be. Would you agree that that is a realistic position to adopt?

                • Refracktion – what particular part of the process are you sceptical about?

                • Getting CCS up and running with power stations Judith. It’s not one particular part of the process. I just haven’t seen anything that suggests it will be a commercial reality within the next 20 years or so. Hopefully I am terribly misinformed and wrong.

      • Refracktion – a couple of people I know were key authors of the report so I will ask if they know where the BBC got their statement from.

        In terms of substitution, the world can only use a small fraction of the gas that has already been discovered unless linked to CCS. So we are highly dependent on other countries also cutting gas use, which is clearly a major concern. I really don’t see how importing our gas will cause other countries to consume more.

      • I seem to recall the quote, ” The Committee says we should only use fracked gas that would otherwise be imported” or words to that effect in the last Committee Report. I’ve skimmed very quickly through the Technical Report but cant’t find any reference to fracking in there, although there is a mention of onshore oil and gas. Maybe Judith could point out her reference.

    • Hi Judith

      We couldn’t find any reference to shale gas or fracking in the latest CCC report (which you may or may not think is significant).

      We think the BBC piece refers to ; this CCC report from 2016 which talks about three tests UK shale gas must meet to be acceptable in climate change terms. Point number 2 says “The production of UK shale gas must displace imports, rather than increase gas consumption.”, suggesting that gas prices probably won’t go down as a result of shale gas production, as this would be likely to lead to an increase in consumption.

  2. Well good morning folks, and thanks Ruth for this report.

    Interesting times we are living in arent they? We see the report above that: (apologies for the cut and paste Ruth)

    “The UK should phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said today.”

    “Clear policies needed to meet targets”

    “The CCC said Scotland should achieve net zero emissions by 2045 because it has a greater capacity to remove emissions than the UK as a whole.”
    “Wales has less opportunity for carbon storage and relatively high emissions from farming so it should achieve a 95% reduction by 2050, it said.”
    “To meet the targets, the CCC said “clear, stable and well-designed policies” must be introduced across the economy, including international flights and shipping.”
    “The CCC called for “strong leadership” at the heart of government and policies must be designed with both business and consumers in mind.”

    It seems all the calls for “reframing” if not totally trashing the TLS and making fossil fuel exploration and extraction “Nationally Significant Infrastructure” and “Permitted Development” thereby removing the applications from public scrutiny and objection, has backfired disastrously right back in their corporate faces, and in fact due to the XR peaceful public protest and childrens school strikes for the climate inertia issue, and of course we have to thank Greta Thunberg and Anna Taylor, that the call is now for the government to declare a national climate change emergency and reduce phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to zero.

    A year ago, this entire about turn would be a wish that could never be achieved, but now because renewable energy is so cheap, compared to fossil fuels, we are now in the position that we can actually make this change work for the benefit of all and that of our children of course.

    Amazing days folks, and well done everyone who actually gives a damn and has stood up and said so.

  3. The whole intention of the report is to achieve a net zero economy by 2050. That includes a 32% reduction in gas. And that of course assumes there is viable CCS. If CCS is not viable the reduction in gas will have to be greater. 2050 is the backstop date and it doesn’t mean, if possible, we can’t achieve this sooner. The comment about fracking that Judith identified in the BBC report, is I suspect incorrect. And even if it is it certainly does not throw fracking a lifeline. Improving energy efficiency and a ramp up of renewables together with a phase out of gas in new build will displace LNG imports and the gas we import from Norway via pipeline I suspect will be cheaper and have a lower carbon footprint than fracking. Plus it is established and reliable, whereas fracking is neither.

    • KatT – most things are cheaper if we import them but how do you suggest the UK pays for them? The report makes totally clear that new gas fired power stations will be needed and the one of the risks for achieving a zero carbon economy is not having gas to produce hydrogen. CCS is easy – we’ve been pumping CO2 underground for years – the key obstacle is cost.

      • Judith there will be a whole new industrial revolution brought about by these changes. There will be new opportunities with sustainable jobs created and a fair transition for many employed in the fossil fuel industry is proposed. This is a fantastic opportunity for the U.K. We can be world leaders in these green technologies we can export our expertise. And if CCS proves too costly then clearly gas use will have to be further reduced. You can produce hydrogen (green hydrogen) by using renewables, there are alternatives and research and development will not stand still between now and 2050. We now have a road map that sets out how net zero can be achieved and yesterday Westminster agreed that we are living in a climate emergency. This at long last sends a clear message to investors.
        As with all change some will deny it initially, feel negative towards it part way but ultimately will have to get on board and accept it.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/02/this-report-will-change-your-life-what-zero-emissions-means-for-uk

        • If CCS is too expensive, I guess that would be an even bigger problem for H2 production via electrolysis – which the report also discusses

  4. “The report makes no specific reference to UK onshore gas or oil production, shale gas or fracking. But the recommendations have implications for gas use and fossil fuel industries.

    The CCC said a 32% reduction in gas consumption and 82% in oil consumption was needed by 2050.”

    • if we reduced gas consumption by 32% tomorrow we would still be importing a large amount and that will increase even further given the current trajectory for UK gas production from the North Sea – the figures are supplied in both the CCC reports if you bother to read them

      • I bother to read them Judith but I also consider fracking will not be able to compete with imported gas via pipeline from Norway. Not in terms of carbon footprint, cost or convenience. And LNG will be replaced by the proposed energy efficiencies, no gas appliances in new build after 2025 and increased renewables. And given the huge amount of tree planting that is proposed, which will further reduce the amount of farm land, together with changes to farming ie more arable, plant based production, less pasture this will reduce available land even further (which already isn’t particularly good as per the ReFINE study) I’d say the prospects for fracking have never looked bleaker.

          • Solar can be erected on buildings, roads, not just land Judith as I’m sure you know. The Dutch are even experimenting with floating solar islands.

  5. The challenge here is population!, the UK population is increasing. New Houses are currently being built, hotels, businesses etc..,
    How are we able to catch up with reducing greenhouse gases if the provisions are not in place to transfer the gas to renewables or renewable means… targets can be made but this will come at a cost to government, and taxpayers… Ccs has been struggling to take hold!

    • The investment and increase in renewables and appropriate technology will be made. The report recognises the costs but after initial increased costs they will fall. But what cost if we allow global temperatures to carry on rising? It will dwarf the investment in change we make now. And we in the developed world have a duty and it is to our benefit also to help more deprived countries to have green technologies as well. We all share responsibility in tackling climate change it is a global problem and the U.K. has been responsible for putting one of the highest amounts of green house gasses into the atmosphere yet it will be the poorest nations that have been least responsible that suffer the worst impacts.

  6. Great reporting and summary of the relevant points regarding natural gas, Ruth &Paul.

    KatT. I think you missed the main point of the recommendations. The scenario of 32% reduction in gas consumption has included accounted for the optimal improvement in energy-efficient home and maximum renewables roll out and uptake.
    The problem is that it also assumes hydrogen gas roll out is a safe and technically viable option. And it is a big assumption at this stage.

    • Even if hydrogen can be extracted from gas, at what cost we do not know, suppliers will have to seek approval to revised safety cases. Hydrogen has a much wider explosive range than methane so risks increase enormously. As TW said, it is not a given.

      • It is also a smaller molecule and more likely to leak and cause embrittlement in the transportation infrastructure. There was a good reason why they switched to burning gas / helium for balloons.

      • The diffusivity is hydrogen is extremely high so is safer to work with than many people think as explosive concentrations need big leak rates. I always thought that it with the thin Al coatings on airships that made them susceptible to fire

        • True. But in closed space like homes and building it can accumulate and their lower ignition point in concentration and evergy would negate their safety significantly in closed space.
          Not to mention leak underground loss due to leakage. In addition to the energy cost to store and keep it in liquid state in large scale to discharge on demands. These are obviously challenges that would have been considered over the past 2 decades of uses and production of hydrogen gas as rocket fuel industry. Not sure they have solve it to commercial level for other industry.
          Elon Musks Space X recently ditch liquid hydrogen mix as rocket fuel and invented more power and cheaper rocket fuel mix using……methane. So maybe he will be the one who will invest in natural gas in the future.

  7. Hi folks, MPs, the followers of Extinction Rebellion, the Green Party and all proposing energy from renewables forget to mention the following. Wind and solar provide electrical energy for 35% to 40% of the time available. The more renewables that are installed the more back-up via gas or nuclear has to be installed to provide electricity for 60% of the time. It would make more sense to start a massive UK nuclear build programme to provide a carbon free base load power supply by 2050, and use fracked natural gas until all the nuclear stations are built.

    • The CCC report recognises gas use albeit reduced by 32% and providing CCS is viable on a large scale. But it also proposes battery storage and inter connectors, shared green power between European countries. So this has all been considered. The CCC has set out how it can be done it is now down to investment and policy. Nuclear does not largely feature in the plan either. The report sets out how we can achieve net zero by 2050 and how your concerns will be addressed.

      • There is one single issue which has not been adressed / is being avoided with CCS. It is the “S” part. Judith is correct in that CO2 has / is being used in the oil industry for tertiary recovery in oil fields. But these wells will have been specifically designed with the correct metallurgy.

        I don’t know the exact numbers but I expect 80% of North Sea wells and topside infrastructure and associated pipelines are basic carbon steel and therfore not suitable for use with C02 or at least not for very long as they will corrode rapidly in the presence of only small amounts of water. 13 Chrome steel or better will be required and this is (or at least was) significantly more expensive than straightforward 80ksi yield carbon steel which is the dominant metallurgy in the North Sea.

        Then there are the compressors…..

        • Paul, very little of the existing pipe work in the North Sea can be used for CCS. It’s not just what it’s made from, it’s also the fact that much wasn’t designed for a dense phase fluid and the erosion:corrosion of pipework tends to make it pretty unusable after a few years of production.

  8. At the cost of 1-2% GDP annually, this target is very ambitious and hard to gain political traction. Our current GDP is roughly 1.5% and struggling. Sacrifice 2% GDP annually would put UK potentially in economic recession from here until 2050.
    Not saying we shouldn’t do it but it is a political suicide if a government is committed to economic recession for 30 years straight while watching rich India Germany US just wipe out our CO2 emission saving in one go.

    • Or a lack of action and investment will cost us more in the longer term. You are right that huge investment is required but it is a lack of action that has put us in the position we are in. And we may grow our economy by leading on green technology and exporting to the rest of the world. I think it political suicide not to embrace this report.

      • Now please direct your admirable passion/protests and lobby this wonderful idea with the governments of China India US and closer to home our EU neighborhood.
        You know that you, me and all others in the UK (even most of the Tory surprisingly) are willing and able to commit to this goal already if the rest of the world are.

        • Correct TW – but not going to happen as batons, tear gas, rubber bullets are not on their agenda…..

          Just another bandwagon to jump on for people who don’t want development near their homes.

    • TW Never mind political suicide. It will be real suicide for humans, animals and life on earth, as we know it, if we don’t take this potential climate catastrophe seriously . Nature doesn’t care about politicians’ egos or industry lobby groups.

  9. Fracking in England is now irrelevant and cannot continue according to the Committee on Climate Change. It should therefore be banned without delay.
    Here is what the CCC are saying in their new recommendations to the UK Government, in order to stay within our legally binding Climate Change Act commitments and Paris agreement commitments.
    ”Switching to low-carbon fuels
    But even the most efficient modern economy will need to contend with significant energy demand. So it’s essential to progress towards an energy system based on fuels with low, or no-carbon, content (de-carbonisation). This means moving away from using conventional coal and gas-fired power to electricity generated from nuclear power, renewable sources, and new technologies such as carbon capture and storage.”
    The CCC highlight the use of low carbon technologies to tackle climate change, there is NO mention of fracking gas in their list of low carbon fuels that we need to switch to in order to reduce our dependence of fossil fuels and stay on track to lower global temperatures.
    Here is the list and fracking is conspicuously absent.
    Switching to low-carbon fuels
    There are many opportunities to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We can increase the amount of electricity generated through low-carbon technologies such as wind and solar power, relying less on gas and coal.
    For generating heat, there are opportunities to use a variety of low-carbon technologies such as ground-source, or air-source, heat pumps (capturing heat from the ground or the air). The use of biomass (biological material used as fuel) can also play a role, especially in industry, if it is derived from sustainable sources.
    In powering our vehicles, there is potential for some blending of biofuels with petrol and diesel. And, increasingly, the use of electricity (or potentially hydrogen in the longer term) produced from low-carbon sources offers an opportunity for more radical decarbonisation of road transport.
    Low-carbon technologies
    There are a range of promising low-carbon technologies and systems:
    Renewables. These energy resources derived from sustainable natural processes, including solar, wind and tidal, can be used to generate electricity, provide heat or even as transport fuel. In the UK, energy from renewables accounted for 8.9% of total final energy consumption in 2016.
    Nuclear power has been a key source of electricity generation since the 1970s. The UK currently has 15 reactors contributing around 22% of power generation in 2016. With the majority of stations in the UK expected to retire by the early 2030s, investment in replacement low-carbon generation will be important for the UK’s decarbonisation.
    Carbon Capture and Storage technology captures carbon dioxide emitted by large installations (such as industrial processes, or from burning fossil fuels or biomass) and stores it in secure spaces, such as geological formations deep underground or under the seabed. CCS has not yet been successfully deployed on a commercial scale in the UK but it would allow generation of electricity using fossil fuels with up to 90% less emissions than unabated use of fossil fuels in which emissions are not captured. It could also provide deep cuts in emissions from industrial sources, and could provide a source of low-carbon hydrogen for use in vehicles or heating.
    Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy and refers to solid, liquid or gas fuels made from biomass feedstocks (e.g. maize or wood). In 2016, energy from bioenergy in the UK accounted for 8.6% of electricity generation, 6.1% of heat and 3.1% of transport. Around 4% of UK heating came from bioenergy, not including wood burnt on open fires.
    Electrification is the process of moving from other energy sources to low-carbon sources of electricity. Emissions from the power sector are falling and electrifying our vehicles and heating will help to reduce UK carbon emissions further.

    The CCC target includes flying and shipping and all greenhouse gases, and allows no offsetting of emissions abroad, making it the toughest of any major economy

    Fracking gas is one of the most potent greenhouse gases due to methane.
    Dr Rob Gross from Imperial College, London added
    ”“Fracking is largely an irrelevance,” added Dr Rob Gross, from Imperial College London. “But a massive expansion of renewables is perfectly feasible, particularly offshore.”

    With the CCC now saying that all greenhouse gases must be replaced by renewables and in the process making fracking in England irrelevant and not possible if we are to avoid climate catastrophe, it is now time for the Minister responsible for fracking to do the right thing and call an immediate moratorium on fracking in England.
    It will be the responsibility of Greg Clark MP to ”sign off” any new fracking applications to actually frack the ground in England.
    He cannot now sign off any more fracturing operations underground due to the methane leaks and emissions released into the atmosphere.
    He will be the clear focus of the anti-fracking community now and their questions are likely to be, are you going to now ban fracking for good? Are you going to act upon the CCC’s recommendations and replace the fossil fuel of fracking gas with renewable energy sources to keep climate change temperatures low? Are you going to prolong the agony of voters who have said quite clearly NO to fracking by allowing it to go ahead?
    If Mr Clark replies with answers that the anti-fracking communities do not like, then he is CLEARLY appeasing the fossil fuel industry at a crucial time of the climate change debate.
    Pressure must be placed on him to do the right thing and ban fracking in England for the good of the climate, the communities affected by proposed fracking sites and clear recommendations from the CCC that greenhouse gases like methane from fracking, needs to be replaced by renewable energy sources ASAP, this is a climate emergency and nothing short of a ban on fracking will solve this emergency.

    Fracking in England is not needed or wanted and the transition from gas to renewables can be done without digging up new sources of fossil fuels like fracked gas and destroying the tourist industry of England.
    Fracking in the UK is now officially DEAD.

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