Today (12 October), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its strategy to support low carbon investment, which includes in its measures a pledge to work towards “zero avoidable waste” by 2050.
“The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future” sets out how over £2.5bn will be invested to support low carbon innovation from 2015 to 2021, as part of the largest increase in public spending on science, research and innovation in over three decades.
This funding covers programmes delivering low carbon energy, transport, agriculture and waste.
Among measures set out in the Strategy, a pledge has been made to work towards the ambition for zero avoidable waste by 2050, “maximising the value extracted from resources, and minimising the negative environmental and carbon impacts associated with their extraction, use and disposal”.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove – “Through our ambitious plans to tackle waste, better manage our precious natural resources and create a more environmentally-focused agricultural system, this government is taking the lead in creating a cleaner, greener Britain.”
On zero waste, the Strategy states: “By working in partnership with industry, we will be able to seek out opportunities to achieve even greater levels of recycling, improve the utilisation of our food and bio-waste and incentivise activities such as reuse, repair and remanufacturing – protecting our environment and strengthening our economy in the long-term.
“We will work towards no food waste entering landfill by 2030. Many local authorities have introduced separate collection of food waste and we will work to support more so that the amount of food waste sent to landfill continues to decline.”
The measures also set out that the Government will publish a new Resources and Waste Strategy to “make the UK a world leader in terms of competitiveness, resource productivity and resource efficiency”.
The Resources and Waste Strategy will focus on three key areas:
- Maximising resource productivity – through more efficient manufacturing processes
- Maximising the value from resources throughout their lifetimes – by designing products more smartly to increase longevity and enable recyclability
- Managing materials at end of life – by targeting environmental impacts.
It will also explore how producers can be better incentivised to manage resources more efficiently through producer responsibility schemes.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We are determined to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it, and achieving clean growth is an integral part of our work to deliver a Green Brexit.
“Through our ambitious plans to tackle waste, better manage our precious natural resources and create a more environmentally-focused agricultural system, this government is taking the lead in creating a cleaner, greener Britain.”
Clean, Affordable Energy
The Clean Growth Strategy also set out, among its measures, to:
- phase out the use of unabated coal to produce electricity by 2025
- provide up to half a billion pounds for further Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions for less established technologies, such as offshore wind, with the next one planned for spring 2019
- work with industry as they develop an ambitious Sector Deal for offshore wind, which could result in 10 gigawatts of new capacity, with the opportunity for additional deployment if this is cost effective, built in the 2020s
- deliver new nuclear power through Hinkley Point C and progress discussions with developers to secure a competitive price for future projects in the pipeline.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation.
Shaun Spiers, Green Alliance – “This strategy is the opportunity to reboot the agenda on energy efficiency, clean vehicles and the efficient use of resources in the UK.”
“The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.”
Shaun Spiers, executive director of Green Alliance commented on the publication of the Strategy, saying it’s a welcome move in the the right direction.
“The test now will be to embed the strategy across government and encourage investment in clean growth by giving businesses the certainty they need,” he said.
“Going green is not only good for the environment: it is crucial for the future of the UK economy. By taking decisive action to reduce carbon emissions at home we can take advantage of the growing global market for low carbon technology and expertise.
“This strategy is the opportunity to reboot the agenda on energy efficiency, clean vehicles and the efficient use of resources in the UK.”