Summary of Government response to CCC 2020 progress report

Posted in: bioenergy

Bioenergy-focused summary of the Government response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2020 progress report to Parliament

On the 1st October, the Government published its response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2020 (CCC) progress report assessing the steps that have been taken to support the country’s transition towards net zero emissions over the past year, and laying out a number of recommendations on what the government should focus on moving forward.

Biomass is an essential part of the bio-economy as it represents a source of sustainable, renewable and low-carbon feedstock for bioenergy. In response to the growing awareness of the role of biomass in achieving net zero aspirations through its use in construction and industrial applications, the Government has begun to develop a “cross-government Biomass Strategy that will look at how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to best contribute to [the UK’s] net zero target.” Additional considerations have also been added to the wider UK Bioenergy Strategy framework concerning the production and best-uses of biomass and waste feedstock, more specifically wood.

The Government reaffirmed its objective to maintain coal-to-biomass conversion as a transitional means of generating electricity, and is looking to cut all financial support to biomass conversion at the end of 2027, including allocations from the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme which aims to support low-carbon electricity generation. An emphasis was also put on widening the use of biofuels, such as low-carbon electricity, hydrogen and bioenergy, for military aircrafts, ships and land vehicles.

Finally, the importance of supporting and developing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technology across biomass and waste treatment facilities was highlighted and clear dates for the integration of CCS in such facilities will be set. In an effort to support and spark the transition towards C sequestration, the Government pledged to increase afforestation across the country. This commitment was also made in recognition to the multiple invaluable ecosystem services that forests supply, such as reducing flood risks, enhancing biodiversity and providing sustainable feedstock for the bio-economy.

The Government will publish a Net Zero Review in spring 2021 which will lay out the terms under which the decarbonisation process will be funded, detailing the distribution of costs between public and private funds and highlighting the short- and long-term funding schemes and policies required to complete the transition by 2050.

For more information:

To read the CCC 2020 Progress Report, click here

To read the UK Government response, click here