Majority of UK industries ‘are off track to hit net zero by 2050’

A new research analysed 17 industrial sectors and found that of them just five are currently driving emissions down

The Big Zero report

The majority of the UK industrial sectors will miss the 2050 net zero target.

Commissioned by insurer Zurich UK and undertaken by the University of the West of England, new research estimates that reductions in industrial emissions will be nearly 40% of needed levels by 2035.

Researchers audited a total of 17 industry sectors and found these are likely to miss 2035 targets by 197 megatonnes (mt), achieving a reduction of 131mt of a required 328mt.

The report also suggests just five of the 17 industries are currently reducing emissions, five are stable and seven are actually increasing their levels of emissions year on year.

Manufacturing, construction and transport are identified as the sectors which are facing the biggest challenge at the moment in minimising their carbon footprint.

The authors of the study suggest more investment is needed in large-scale infrastructure, technology ventures and urge the government to improve access to carbon capture and storage.

Shaun Hicks, Chief Risk Officer at Zurich UK, said: “Whilst the application of innovations such as hydrogen fuel and carbon capture have great potential in realising a green future, the government needs to provide further clarity to give businesses the time they need to prepare for the net zero transition.”

Dr Laura de Vito, Lead Author from the University of the West of England Faculty of Environment and Technology said: “The UK industrial sectors are highly interconnected and therefore it is important to adopt a joined-up and collaborative approach to net zero.

“Solutions are available, we now must focus our efforts in implementing them, especially in light of the recent IPCC report which demands urgent and decisive change.”

ELN has contacted BEIS for a response.

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