UK off track for net zero goal, say 90% of energy professionals

The UK will miss both its 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets without immediate policy steps from government, according to energy professionals.

On 8 July, the Energy Institute published its Energy Barometer 2020, collating the responses of over 350 UK professionals selected to represent views from oil and gas through to renewables and energy efficiency. It found that 90% say the UK is off track to hit the 2050 net zero goal, while over half do not expect it to reach its 2030 interim target of a 57% cut in greenhouse gas emissions between 2028 and 2032, based on current policies.

Meanwhile, four in five agree with the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) principles for a resilient recovery, including that investment should be channelled into green industries and jobs, along with support for emissions intensive sectors being subject to action on climate change. Respondents were found to be split on whether COVID-19 will accelerate the net zero transition (38%) or hinder it (33%).

Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the CCC, said: “The overwhelming support from energy professionals for a resilient recovery from COVID-19 should give ministers confidence to act. Decisions in the coming months will shape our economic recovery – and bend the path of future UK emissions. The dissatisfaction of energy professionals about current policies for net zero is a frustration we share. This is the year to put that right, as the world’s gaze falls on the UK, in the Presidency of the next UN climate summit in Glasgow, 2021.”

Energy Institute