The UK Government should develop a National Delivery Body (NDB) to lead the development and implementation of a national heat decarbonisation strategy.
That’s the call from a new Heat Commission convened by the CBI and the University of Birmingham, which says it is vital for business, government, regulators and communities to work together to shape the policies and delivery mechanisms that will be needed for the heat sector to reach net zero by 2050.
Heat is currently the largest single source of UK carbon emissions, accounting for more than a third of greenhouse gases.
The new report suggests an independent, time-limited, impartial body should be created to work with government on creating, co-ordinating and delivering an overarching NDB, which would be locally delivered by local authorities who will “synergise their own local and energy plan with the national programme”.
It would primarily work to decarbonise transport, reduce industrial emissions, decentralise electricity supplies and support local energy plans devised by local authorities.
The University of Birmingham, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Energy Systems Catapult and the Energy Research Accelerator have proposed the creation of a West Midlands-based National Centre for the Decarbonisation of Heat to accelerate and scale-up the manufacturing, skills and levels of deployment required.
Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, CBI President and Heat Commission Chair, Lord Karan Bilimoria, said: “A green recovery and progress towards the UK’s net-zero emission target are doomed to fail if we don’t address the urgent need to decarbonise heat in our homes and buildings.
“Recent government announcements will undoubtedly fast-forward our transition towards net-zero. The Commission’s recommendations offer a roadmap to accelerate progress, ensure our nation stays on a path to sustainable recovery and ensures the UK remains a global leader in meeting climate commitments.
“Aside from the moral imperative, there’s also a strong economic case for protecting our planet. Large-scale heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency would provide a huge jobs boost for the economy at a time when new career opportunities are needed more than ever.”