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Clean Growth Strategy: What It Is And How It Affects UK Business 

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The Clean Growth Strategy is the government’s commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the country and creating a UK with a smaller carbon footprint.

Put together by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Clean Growth Strategy document is around 165 pages long. But don’t worry; we’ve summarised the strategy’s key points here, including what they mean for UK companies and homeowners.

The commitment: an outline

What is the Clean Growth Strategy? A decade ago, the UK introduced the Climate Change Act and became the first nation in the world to self-impose a legally binding carbon reduction target. Essentially, this meant the UK aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).

Are we on target?

Positively, BEIS data published in March 2017 showed that the UK is on course to achieving its goal. Overall, carbon emissions have dropped by 42% since 1990! While this progress is encouraging, the government acknowledges that there is still work to be done – and that’s where proposals like the Clean Growth Strategy come in.

What will the Clean Growth Strategy do to help?

The Clean Growth Strategy is designed to speed up the rate of ‘clean growth’ and becoming a greener nation, while boosting the UK economy. The two main objectives of the strategy are:

  • To meet our domestic commitments at the lowest possible net cost to UK taxpayers, consumers and businesses.
  • To maximise the social and economic benefits for the UK from this transition.

The government has promised to roll out lower-carbon processes, systems and technologies that are still cost-effective all over the country.

Main points of the Clean Growth Strategy

The following points sum up the objectives of the Clean Growth Strategy:

  • Enhancing business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions)
  • Improving our homes (13% of UK emissions)
  • Speeding up the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions)
  • Providing clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions)
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions)
  • Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions)

Find the full list of 50 pledges in this executive summary.

How does the Clean Growth Strategy affect homes and businesses?

Everyone, whether you’re a homeowner or employer, will be impacted by this strategy in the sense that we’ll all be encouraged to lower our carbon footprints. A major focus will be reassessing the fuels we use for jobs like heating, cooking, and powering industrial and manufacturing processes – and embracing cleaner, greener alternatives.

This may include the utilisation of renewable technologies, like heat pumps and biomass boilers, as well as opting for cleaner fuels over more damaging fossil varieties. For example, for off-grid homes and businesses, the strategy sets out specific plans to phase out high-carbon forms of fuel like oil. As the lowest-carbon conventional off-grid fuel, oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversions will play a key part in replacing oil in rural parts of the country.

If your business is connected to the mains network, natural gas will stay a popular option. This is because it’s cost-effective and accessible, as well as the lowest-carbon fossil fuel available.

But what else can we expect? Some experts anticipate that the ‘green gas’ phenomenon (natural gas injected with a proportion of environmentally friendly biogas) will grow in popularity as the Clean Growth Strategy picks up pace.

How do people feel about the Clean Growth Strategy?

Generally, the Clean Growth Strategy has been greeted with positivity.

Lee Gannon, managing director of Flogas which is a gas supply provider for domestic and commercial customers, commented: “Through the publication of its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has made clear its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid UK homes and businesses. Natural gas is affordable, versatile, widely available and – most importantly – emits significantly less carbon than the likes of coal and oil. As such, it will continue to play a central role as the UK works towards cleaning up its energy landscape. We look forward to working alongside policymakers and wider industry stakeholders to make the Clean Growth Strategy the success that it deserves to be.”

Elsewhere in the energy industry, the strategy is looked upon as a great move. “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as carbon capture, usage and storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy,” said Trade body Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, Mike Tholen.

Nicky Bannister, Head of Flogas Energy.