17 March 2021
The government’s new industrial decarbonisation strategy  goes nowhere near far enough and lacks the proper plan and finance to achieve its aims, the Green Party has warned.
Bristol Green Party Councillor Carla Denyer, who proposed the UK’s first climate emergency declaration, said:
“We welcome the government’s recognition that CO2 emissions must be squeezed out of UK industrial production, although the target of reducing emissions by two-thirds by 2035 is inadequate.
“But we have to ask Greta Thunberg’s resounding question: ‘Where is the plan?’ This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a government department offer only hot air when what is needed is a clear plan and funding to back it up.
“Instead of an ambitious plan and funding on the scale we have seen from the EU and US, this strategy is nothing more than wishful thinking. It is depressing to see how, yet again on a vital green issue, the government has aimed low and will still miss its target.”
David Flint, convenor of the Green Party’s Climate Emergency Policy Working Group, added:
“If we take the strategy on its own terms, it fails to address the ultimate high emitters – oil and gas – which are problematic both offshore and onshore. Indeed, without a clear commitment to reduce oil and gas refining, both carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen may simply prolong the pollution. Hydrogen is not a solution unless it is rolled out alongside sufficient renewable electricity to produce it and we are far from achieving that.
“The government has also failed to rise to the challenge of phasing out carbon-intensive blast furnaces in steel production. We simply cannot arrive at a net-zero carbon emission economy unless we undergo a rapid transition of our steel industry. We need a government plan to urgently invest in electric arc furnaces melting scrap steel to minimise the amount of carbon released from the industry.”