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ECA warns Gov’t against ‘missing the boat’ following Net Zero report

Leading electrotechnical and engineering services body ECA has responded to the Committee for Climate Change’s (CCC) latest report, which say the current UK planning system does not live up to its potential to drive climate action.

ECA has long campaigned for more joined-up policy and a top-down approach from central government which would enable local councils to properly plan, fund, implement and maintain crucial low-carbon infrastructure, such as public EV charge points and power network upgrades.  

Published on Wednesday 19th July, the Spatial Planning for Climate Resilience and Net Zero report was commissioned by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and produced by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).

ECA agrees with the report’s conclusions that local council planning tools are not being used to facilitate low-carbon development evenly across the UK. The report argues that by placing climate change and emissions goals at the core of the planning system, the government could accelerate the roll out of low-carbon infrastructure.

ECA’s Energy & Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor Luke Osborne said:

“Achieving Net Zero Carbon requires a massive, concerted effort from all corners of government, at both the national and local levels.

“This latest report from the CCC has shed light on a chronic lack of resources and an institutional culture that can act as a barrier to low-carbon development. If this is not rectified through joined-up policy from the top, we risk missing the boat on new technologies and infrastructure that could allow Britons to charge their cars, insulate their homes, and use renewable electricity easily and safely.

“The UK has a legally binding target to make a 78% reduction in emissions by 2035 and become a net zero emitter by 2050. To decarbonise the grid, we need long-term strategic incentives and consumer education about the benefits of low-carbon alternatives. Without a strategic plan which considers grid capacity and carbon use, our progress towards these targets will be impeded.”

ECA is calling on the government to:

- Adopt the CLC’s national retrofit strategy,

- Establish an effective home insulation scheme,

- Promote air-to-air heat pumps as suitable for retrofit in older buildings,

- Expand the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to cover the installation of low carbon heating devices,

As well as other policy recommendations. Learn more about these, and ECA’s work, here.

Last updated 21 July 23