REFLECTING ON THE ENERGY WHITE PAPER AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR SMES

The Government recently set out an ambitious plan to help accelerate the economy’s decarbonisation as the UK transitions to Net Zero by 2050.

The Energy White Paper, which was published in December, aims to build on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

It sets out the UK’s steps over the next ten years to support hundreds of thousands of new green jobs and cut emissions from infrastructure, industry and transport. It aims to reduce emissions by 230 million metric tonnes, the equivalent to taking 7.5 million petrol cars off the road permanently. Some of the steps it commits to include:

  • Supporting up to 220,000 ‘green’ jobs over the next decade, including long-term jobs in major infrastructure projects for power generation, carbon capture storage and renewable energy
  • Transitioning the UK’s energy system away from fossil fuels to renewables, to help meet the Net Zero 2050 deadline
  • Keeping bills affordable for consumers by making the retail energy market fairer and more competitive
  • Generating emission-free electricity by 2050
  • Introducing a new UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to replace the EU ETS, with increased ambition on reducing emissions
  • Delivering at least 40GW of electricity generated by offshore wind power by 2030
  • Investing £1bn in state-of-the-art carbon capture storage by 2030
  • Investing £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways

Our thoughts

At CBN Expert, we’ve given the plan a cautious welcome and applaud the aim of shifting the UK’s dependence away from fossil fuels and more towards cleaner energy sources.

However, it’s the introduction of the UK ETS that has really caught our eye.

Whatever your view on Brexit – and it has dragged on for far too long – now the issue has been put to bed, and we have left the EU, it’s good to see the UK building on its existing commitments.

The new UK ETS, which kicked in on 1 January, after the transition period ended, promotes cost-effective decarbonisation and allows businesses to cut carbon where it is cheapest to do so.

It also promotes innovation and growth for UK businesses, particularly those developing and supplying clean energy and low carbon technologies.

The UK ETS creates the world’s first Net Zero carbon cap and trade market, which marks a crucial step towards achieving the 2050 target for Net Zero carbon emissions. It’s more ambitious than the EU ETS it replaces, which will hopefully give businesses of all sizes the certainty they need to invest in green energy and low carbon technologies.

Start your Net Zero journey

The UK’s drive to become Net Zero by 2050 affects us all.

Even the smallest of businesses have a role to play in making it a reality, which means doing nothing is no longer an option.

The options available to offset emissions continue to evolve, and as things progress, even small businesses will be able to access opportunities to offset their emissions in the UK.

However, it’s going to be necessary for all companies to offset at least some emissions.

If you’re not doing so already, then it’s time to make a pledge to start your journey to Net Zero and consider how you can do so.

You can offset when you’re ready, but you’ll need to do it every year to remain on track for Net Zero.

We created the CBN Expert Dashboard to help you get a clearer picture of where your business is currently at, start offsetting your emissions and track the progress you are making.

With legislation likely to tighten, so more firms fall into the scope of the Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting and other regulatory developments, the more you can do to get your business ahead of the game, the better.

If you need help, we’d love to work alongside you and guide you along your journey towards Net Zero, so give us a call today and make that start.