National Infrastructure Commission
New report highlights difficult – but achievable – steps necessary to deliver zero carbon UK economy
A new report today says big reductions in the cost of renewable energy generation mean the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is achievable. But only if steps are taken now to boost low carbon power and heating – in line with recommendations made in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.
The Committee on Climate Change report ‘Net-zero: the UK’s contribution to stopping global warning’ highlights progress towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions and proposes ambitious and tougher targets for reduction. These are increasingly achievable thanks to new technologies, it says, and the reduction in costs of batteries for electric vehicles and offshore wind generation in particular mean net-zero greenhouse gas target can be met at an annual cost of up to 1-2% of GDP to 2050.
The National Infrastructure Assessment recommended a target of 50 per cent of the UK’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, as part of a shift towards a mix of renewable generation. In addition, the Commission called for the government to establish large-scale trials by 2021 to test the case for hydrogen and heat pumps as replacements for natural gas.
The Assessment also called for a national network of electric vehicle charging points, to support the ambition of nearly 100% of new car and van sales being electric by 2030.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:
“Today’s report highlights the importance of urgent, concerted action to protect the UK’s economy and environment from the impacts of climate change. Future generations won’t forgive us if we don’t act together and with a sharp focus.
“But to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we must put in place the infrastructure we need to change how we travel and how we power and heat our homes and businesses.
“The key step is to ensure a rich mix of renewable energy sources. That’s why in the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment we called for at least 50 per cent of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, along with measures to speed up the delivery of lower carbon heating for our homes and the adoption of electric vehicles.
“It is essential that the government’s National Infrastructure Strategy, expected this autumn, sets out a robust and effective plan for funding and delivering these changes.”
Latest News from
National Infrastructure Commission
Commitment to open data crucial to optimising UK’s energy system for more complex, low-carbon future14/06/2019 11:15:00
A new report calls for higher standards in data sharing across the UK’s energy networks to improve its resilience and deliver better results for consumers and the environment – in line with recommendations made in the National Infrastructure Commission’s Data for the Public Good report.
Government’s ‘net zero’ pledge highlights urgency of shift to low-carbon economy12/06/2019 16:15:00
Responding to today’s government commitment to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt today said the recognition of the threats from climate change was an important step, but must be followed up by tangible actions to prepare the UK economy for a low-emissions future.
‘Data now as important to UK Infrastructure as concrete or steel’ – Sir John Armitt speech to DAFNI11/06/2019 14:33:00
Sir John Armitt yesterday gave the keynote speech to the DAFNI conference. DAFNI is the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure.
Armitt challenges government to commit to building a future infrastructure fit for a post-Brexit Britain14/05/2019 11:15:00
National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use this autumn’s Spending Review to commit to a once-in-a-generation transformation of the UK’s transport, energy and technology networks.
Consultation on flood and coastal erosion in England highlights need for new standard of resilience09/05/2019 16:37:00
The Environment Agency has today begun consulting on the national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England proposing a new approach based on a recommendation made in the National Infrastructure Assessment.
Design Group: supportive statements08/05/2019 12:15:00
Supportive statements in favour of the Commission’s new Design Group.
Excellent design will be at the “beating heart” of all new UK infrastructure, vows Stirling Prize winner as she announces members of influential new Design Group07/05/2019 16:25:00
Professor Sadie Morgan, a National Infrastructure Commissioner and Stirling Prize winner, today hails a “pivotal moment” for the future of UK infrastructure, as the ten members of a new Design Group are revealed.
Government must set clear vision for world-class UK infrastructure so economy can compete post-Brexit01/05/2019 16:15:00
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt today said the UK needed to build a shared vision for infrastructure’s role in the economy – one that could unite people, mend fractures in society and build a true sense of community for millions of people.
Sir John Armitt: speech to All Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure01/05/2019 13:38:00
This is the full text of a speech by National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure event: ‘What should be in the National Infrastructure Strategy?’