What is it about?
In the period since 2010 successive UK Governments have produced various decarbonisation strategies for industry. This article scrutinises the most recent version that was published in March 2021: the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy (IDS). It contrasts the policy content of the IDS with previous industrial roadmaps, action plans and strategies (including the Clean Growth Strategy of 2017). In addition, it compares the proposals in the IDS with the latest recommendations of the UK Government’s independent Climate Change Committee, as well as drawing on lessons learned from the techno-economic assessments published by the author and his collaborators for a number of key ‘Foundation Industries’. The latter emit significant shares of UK industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: the iron and steel (~25%), chemicals (~19%), cement (~8%), pulp and paper (~6%), and glass (~3%) sectors. They also produce some 28 million tonnes of materials per year, which are worth £52 billion to the UK economy, and account for ~10% of UK total CO2 emissions.
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Why is it important?
Reducing industrial energy demand and improving resource efficiency could make a substantial contribution towards the UK Government’s goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, whilst simultaneously improving productivity and creating employment opportunities. Both fossil fuel and process GHG emissions will need to be significantly reduced over this timeframe. Ultimately, all industrial energy use and emissions result from the demand for goods and services. Energy is required at each stage in the manufacture of a product, or ‘life-cycle’, from raw material extraction through to the final distribution and eventual disposal. Energy use and associated GHG emissions at different points along these UK supply chains emanate from many different countries, due to the growth of globalization. They are often termed ‘consumption emissions’, in contrast to ‘terrestrial emissions’ produced within the national boundary of Great Britain (GB). In the period since 2010, successive British governments have produced various decarbonisation strategies for industry. Here, the most recent version – the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy published in March 2021 - is critically evaluated. Its policy content is contrasted with previous UK Government-sponsored industrial roadmaps, action plans and strategies (including the Clean Growth Strategy of 2017). In addition, it compares the new IDS with the latest recommendations of the UK Government’s independent Climate Change Committee and with findings of the techno-economic assessments published by the author and his collaborators for a number of key ‘Foundation Industries’.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The UK industrial decarbonisation strategy revisited, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy, February 2022, ICE Publishing, DOI: 10.1680/jener.21.00056.
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