OFTEC, alongside 29 other organisations*, has signed a letter to the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark, calling for a commitment to critical EU 2020 carbon reduction and energy infrastructure targets, irrespective of Brexit.
The letter argues that EU laws and regulations on energy and buildings have played a crucial role in enabling the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and provide global leadership on climate change.
As the UK prepares to commence EU exit negotiations, all 30 signatories agree that government should stick with three of the key EU 2020 targets until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, to give badly needed confidence to businesses and investors.
The three targets are:
- 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources (under the Renewables Energy Directive)
- UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less (the Energy Efficiency Directive.
- All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 and by the end of 2018 for public buildings (The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive).
OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley comments: “OFTEC is fully committed to a low carbon future and following Brexit, it is vital momentum gained in this area is not lost. We cannot afford to go back on the EU 2020 renewable targets now.
“As such, OFTEC will continue its call – now to the new government – to introduce more practical, affordable carbon reduction policies as an alternative to the flagging domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), to push towards these targets which at the present rate of progress in the home heating sector, seem unrealistic.
“These include the introduction of a universal boiler replacement scheme which our independently verified research shows could, for the same amount of government spend, prove five times more effective in cutting carbon output than the domestic RHI.”
The letter has been coordinated by the Association for Conservation of Energy (ACE) and sustainability charity Bioregional.
Dr Joanne Wade, CEO of ACE, commented: “The Brexit vote has caused industry uncertainty. Government must move quickly to confirm it will continue on a clear path to meeting key energy targets.”
Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive of Bioregional, added: “Cutting emissions is the pathway to secure, affordable energy for the UK in the long term as well as tackling climate change. We need a firm commitment to these long-agreed targets for 2020.”
*The 30 signatory organisations are:
- Association for the Conservation of Energy
- British Blind and Shutter Association
- British Pump Manufacturers Association
- British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association
- Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency
- Centre for Sustainable Energy
- Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
- Energy Saving Trust
- Energy Systems Trade Association
- Energy UK
- Existing Homes Alliance Scotland
- Friends of the Earth
- Glass and Glazing Federation
- Insulated Render and Cladding Association
- Lighting Industry Association
- Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association
- National Energy Foundation
- National Insulation Association
- Oil Firing Technical Association
- Property and Energy Professionals Association
- Regen SW
- Renewable Energy Association
- Solar Trade Association
- Sustainable Energy Association
- Thermal Insulation Consortium
- Town and Country Planning Association