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‘UK set to miss net zero and decarbonisation targets’

Norwegian consultancy firm DNV's report reveals that the UK is forecasted to fall short of its net zero emissions target by 2050 and its decarbonisation goals for 2030

The UK is likely to miss its net zero emissions target by 2050 and its Paris Agreement commitments for 2030.

That’s according to a report by Norwegian consultancy firm DNV, which forecasts an 85% reduction in UK emissions by 2050, falling short of the legislated 100% reduction.

Transport and buildings are cited as major emission contributors, with fossil fuels still prominent.

Despite advancements, a considerable portion of vehicles, particularly in commercial use, will still rely on fossil fuels, according to the report.

Consultants note that while the transition to a low carbon economy is affordable, challenges remain, particularly regarding home heating.

Despite the potential of heat pumps for decarbonisation, cost barriers and insulation requirements pose significant obstacles to widespread adoption.

The report forecasts that without a substantial policy shift, natural gas will continue to dominate home heating, with heat pump installations only expected to overtake boiler replacements around 2040.

Hari Vamadevan, Regional Director for UK & Ireland Energy Systems at DNV, stated that the UK’s transition from fossil fuels to electricity over the next thirty years will be significant but not as extensive as previously projected.

Mr Vamadevan said: “Over the next three decades, the UK will undergo a strong shift from fossil fuels to electricity as an energy carrier.

“But the scale of the shift is now lower than we forecast in our first UK ETO report, issued in 2022. As a result, oil and gas will still account for 35% of the UK’s primary energy supply mix in 2050.

“Moreover, the outlook for hydrogen now seems a lot less certain in the absence of a clear, UK-wide strategy on the demand and supply of this crucial decarbonisation fuel.”

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