UK planning world’s first ‘net zero carbon’ heavy industry hub

The UK government has unveiled plans for the world’s first net zero carbon cluster of heavy industry at the UN’s COP 24 climate summit in Poland today.

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Up to £170m will be made available to help energy intensive industries such as steel and cement share expertise and develop technologies like carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS).

Energy minister Claire Perry said the UK hopes to have at least one low-carbon cluster of heavy industry by 2030, and a net zero hub within the following decade.

“This will help to develop the technologies of the future to transform industry around the world, ensuring the UK seizes the global economic opportunities of moving to greener, cleaner industry,” she said.

“The UK is a leader cutting our emissions, but to sustain this track record we need to tackle emissions from energy intensive sectors and bring clean growth to our great industrial centres.”

This comes after the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced last month that the UK’s first CCUS project could be operational from the mid 2020s.

The department also said that the low-carbon economy could result in up to £170bn in exports every year by 2030, and create up to two million ‘green collar’ jobs.

Today’s announcement comes as the UK and Canada celebrate the one-year anniversary of their Powering Past Coal Alliance, which now has 30 national governments, 22 subnational governments and 28 businesses signed up.

Israel, Scotland, Senegal, Sydney and Melbourne were among the newest members announced today.

As part of this, the UK has also committed £20m for a World Bank programme to help developing counties move away from coal power and embrace renewable energy.

The BEIS also revealed that it is working to establish a ‘utilities taskforce’ comprising of electricity suppliers to encourage investors to commit funds to clean energy rather than coal.

“Coal-fired power plants produce almost 40% of global electricity today, making carbon pollution from dirty coal a leading contributor to climate change,” the BEIS said

"Great Britain is on track to deliver less than 5% of its electricity from coal for the first time since the first industrial revolution.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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