What would ordinarily be the most anticipated Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report of the year has been somewhat overshadowed by the release of the landmark Net Zero report two months prior.
Building on the recommendations detailed in that report, the 2019 Progress Report outlined policy suggestions for reaching net zero but hit out at the government for failing to implement recommendations from last year’s report.
Here some of the industry’s leading figures give their thoughts on the report and the recommendations made.
Chris Hewett, chief executive, Solar Trade Association:
"For four years now the Committee on Climate Change has been urging the Government to get behind the most popular and cost-effective renewables. In what is now surely a national Groundhog Day, we again fully support their calls for technology neutral auctions that provide a secure route-to-market for large-scale solar. On the publication of last year's Progress Report we said the Government must now surely listen and act. Not only has nothing happened but the policy framework has actually gone backwards for solar."
Mark Sommerfeld, policy manager, Renewable Energy Association:
“[The] CCC progress report must be the starting gun for Government to get on and deliver the UK’s legally binding ambitions to have net zero emissions by 2050. The report reflects the status of renewable and clean tech markets today, with a dearth of polices constraining the pipeline of power, heat and transport projects needed to deliver immediate carbon reductions.
“What’s more this policy gap is currently expected to grow, support for renewable heat technologies - under the RHI - is set to come to an end in 2021, transport targets continue to lack sufficient ambition and some of the cheapest renewable power technologies lack a viable route to market. This current stasis puts supply chains and jobs at risk, while also slowing innovation which will be crucial to further decarbonisation in the future.
“Government must now prioritise the CCC’s immediate recommendations in order to make meaningful progress towards our net-zero ambitions and avoid reversing the positive progress that has already been made in the UK.”
Lawrence Slade, chief executive, Energy UK:
“[The] progress report from the Committee on Climate Change recognises the significant contribution of the power sector in driving decarbonisation, and underlines the urgent need for further action - and the energy sector is ready to lead further progress which will deliver benefits for the environment, the economy and customers.
“Net-zero can be achieved but only if the ambition is supported by the right policies. As our recent Future of Energy report highlighted, we need to go further and faster in areas like decarbonising transport and heating and improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses. This can only happen with consistent and bold policy-making from across all government departments to support the target and we look forward to working with the Government to achieve our shared ambition.”
David Smith, chief executive, Energy Networks Association:
“It has been a historic year for the UK after outlining a highly ambitious vision for net zero emissions by 2050 and we must now seize this momentum to deliver the action needed.
"Our energy network companies will be at the heart of this action, building on the work already led by electricity network companies to integrate record levels of low-carbon electricity generation into the system while keeping costs low for the public. Not only have these network companies helped drive the low-carbon transition, but they are working closely with government and the wider industry to ensure the networks remain resilient in the face of climate change.”
Tim Rotherary, CEO, Association of Decentralised Energy:
“The CCC highlights something the whole energy sector has seen. Legislating for net zero is an excellent move – but it alone is not enough. It is time now for government to get on and make it happen.
“Across the energy industry there is a growing sense of frustration at the lack of decision making from politicians to keep emissions falling. For immediate action we need focus on growing the role of existing sectors such as local energy and energy efficiency, which are already delivering lower costs and increased comfort and productivity for thousands of business customers and homeowners. If Government puts customer-led energy at the heart of its policy making and works alongside business, we can put power back into the hands of customers and meet our net zero in a fair way."