Technologies for meeting Clean Growth emissions reduction targets inquiry launched

23 July 2018

The Science and Technology Committee launches a new inquiry: Technologies for meeting Clean Growth emissions reduction targets.

The Government published its ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ in October 2017, setting out how it intended to meet the ‘carbon budget’ emissions reduction targets under the Climate Change Act. The Strategy lists four areas where progress is planned:

  • ‘Improving Our Homes’;
  • ‘Accelerating the Shift to Low Carbon Transport’;
  • ‘Delivering Clean, Smart, Flexible Power’; and
  • ‘Enhancing the Benefits and Value of Our Natural Resources’.  

The Strategy emphasised the role that innovation can play in meeting the targets, with £2.5bn allocated for ‘low carbon innovation’ between 2015 and 2021. It also stressed that as well as cutting emissions, such innovation can “create jobs and help companies grow”.

A wide range of technologies are being developed with the hope of contributing to emissions reductions including – but not limited to – small modular reactors, nuclear fusion, hydrogen and fuel cells, smart grids, negative emissions technologies and innovative construction materials or methods.

The Committee on Climate Change has concluded that:

  • the next two ‘carbon budget’ targets would be missed;
  • in some areas the “policy to deliver [on the reductions targets] has not yet been worked up”; and
  • the Strategy is “generally focused at early-stage innovation …[which] “must be supported by funding and policies to drive deployment and learning-by-doing”.

Terms of reference

The Science and Technology Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the technologies needed to meet Clean Growth emissions reduction targets, and would welcome written evidence by Friday 26 October 2018 that addresses the following issues:

  • The strategy:

- the relative importance of the four main areas identified in the Strategy (‘Improving Our Homes’, ‘Accelerating the Shift to Low Carbon Transport’, ‘Delivering Clean, Smart, Flexible Power’ and ‘Enhancing the Benefits and Value of Our Natural Resources’), and whether the Strategy places the right weight on each of those sectors to deliver emissions reductions;;

- progress on meeting carbon budget targets to date and areas where more progress is needed going forward;

- the extent to which current and future technologies can help to meet the carbon budgets; and

- the uncertainty in future technologies’ contribution to emissions reductions, and how that uncertainty can best be incorporated into the Government’s carbon budgets.

  • How the development and deployment of technology can best be supported, and the extent to which the Government should support specific technologies or pursue a ‘technology neutral’ approach;
  • The relative priority that should be attached to developing new technologies compared to deploying existing technologies, including consideration of the costs and pollution involved in the decommissioning of technologies or infrastructure;
  • Examples of specific technologies whose development and deployment have been effectively supported so far, as well as those that show particular promise for meeting the Government’s carbon emissions targets or supporting the UK’s economy, or which would benefit from specific Government action, in the future; and
  • The role of the Industrial Strategy ‘Clean Growth Grand Challenge’, and what the Government should do to ensure it contributes effectively to meeting emissions targets.

Submitting written evidence 

Submit written evidence via our inquiry page. 

Each submission should: 

a) be in Word format with as little use of logos as possible.  
b) have numbered paragraphs.  
c) include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases. 

Submissions need not address every aspect of the terms of reference and should be no longer than 3,000 words.

The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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