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LATEST MARKET UPDATE: Gas and Power prices are largely trading at parity with last week’s levels, despite some significant price swings at the front of the pricing curve. The bout of low pressure has seen reduced wind output, increasing demand for gas-fired power generation and stretching a European gas system which is struggling to attract global LNG. Winter prices have also been volatile with concerns over gas storage levels being partially offset by positive supply news surrounding the potential completion of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. Prices further out have been softer, as renewed coronavirus fears in the wake of the delta variant have weigh on global oil markets.

Everyone has heard about the target to achieve net zero by 2050, but what does net zero actually mean?

It refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere and the amount removed. Becoming net zero is the focus for all of the countries that signed the Paris agreement back in 2015. The goal of the legally binding treaty is to limit global warming to well below 2◦C, preferably to 1.5◦C compared to pre industry levels.

Wind Turbines, Galicia, Spain

Why do we need to achieve it?

The extreme weather we have seen over recent years, from Australian bush fires to ice shelves disappearing, show the impact of the climate emergency we are facing. The scientific evidence is clear: emissions of greenhouse gases are causing our climate to change. Failure to limit global temperatures rising will cause irreversible damage.

The UN Climate Science Panel has said man-made carbon dioxide emissions need to fall by 45% by 2030, from 2010 levels, and reach net zero by 2050; for the world to have a fighting chance to limit global warming to 1.5◦C and avoid irreversible damage. 

The energy sector is responsible for three-quarters of global emissions and achieving significant energy efficiency improvements will be the difference between succeeding and failing the 2050 target. 

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Revolving Green Fund

How is this achieved?

 

To reach net zero, carbon emissions from homes, industries, transport, and agriculture will need to be reduced. The Climate Change Committee maintains this is achievable using efficient technologies, but it will require clear and consistent policies to reduce emissions, alongside the public making changes in their everyday lives. There are two ways to reach the net zero target, this being to lower emissions and remove greenhouse emissions.

 

 

Reducing emissions

Businesses switching their energy from brown to 100% green will have a huge impact on carbon emissions, taking a significant step as we look to combat climate change. The more businesses that switch to green energy contracts, the world's dependence on fossil fuels will reduce. 

Identifying and implementing energy efficiency solutions will play a prominent role in reaching the goal to net zero. Simple changes will also decrease carbon emissions dramatically, such as switching to LED lighting, optimising building management systems and investing in technology such as smart meters to understand your business energy use better.

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Low angle view of tall trees against the sky

Removing emissions

Carbon capture and storage technology will play a large role in achieving net zero; this includes capturing carbon dioxide from power generation and industrial processes and storing it, so it is unable to reach the atmosphere.

A key response to achieving net zero, both within the UK and globally is to increase the land covered by forestation. Trees are a fantastic tool for removing carbon from the atmosphere, with the average tree removing a tonne of CO2 in its lifetime. The UK plans to increase forestry cover from 13% to 17% by 2050 by planting 30,000 hectares (90-120 million trees) each year. 

What are the benefits to achieving it?

Net zero will bring wider societal benefits to human health as a result of improved air quality and better-protected natural environment. It will also provide opportunities for innovative UK businesses serving the demand for zero-emissions technologies. A zero emissions world will be cleaner, smarter and more efficient ensuring a positive future for generations to come. 

Moving towards a net zero future will allow your business to gain profitable benefits such as cutting operational costs and core process improvements. It can also contribute to future planning and direction of your business’s sustainability goals. By using net zero as a core company this will both improve your reputation and bring promotional benefits as more consumers are favouring environmentally responsible organisations and are using their purchase power to prove this.

Learn more about Renewable Energy 

 

We know every net zero journey is different. Our expertise allows us to support and guide your business through the whole journey. From identifying your carbon footprint to implementing carbon reduction strategies.

So if you are looking to begin a net zero journey and don't know where to start, or currently on a net zero journey and want to explore ways to reduce your emissions we can help.

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