UKERC response to the Industrial Strategy

18 Mar 2021

UKERC broadly welcomes publication of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.

For the first time the document sets out the overarching approach that the UK will follow to reduce carbon emissions from industry in line with its net-zero commitment. It covers the full range of UK industry sectors: metals and minerals, chemicals, food and drink, paper and pulp, ceramics, glass, oil refineries and less energy-intensive manufacturing, which account for around one sixth of UK emissions.

It is pleasing to see that, as well as investment in new low-carbon and efficient technologies and infrastructure, the strategy also recognises the important role that resource efficiency and product standards can play in reducing emissions. Of course this strategy is only the first step; significant work remains to develop specific policies in many areas and for Government and industry to work together on translating the proposals into action.

Future UKERC work will be examining how local low carbon strategies can help deliver savings in the remaining fifty percent of industrial emissions that arise outside the six industrial clusters which are the focus of the current strategy. Find out more here.


Key commitments in the strategy

Covering aspects such as Foundations to deliver net zero for industry; Transforming industrial processes and Maximising the UK’s potential, the strategy earmarks over £1 billion to drive down emissions from industry and public buildings.

£171 million from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge allocated to nine green tech projects in Scotland, South Wales and North West, Humber and Teesside in England, to undertake engineering and design studies for the rollout of decarbonisation infrastructure, such as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen.

Other commitments include:

  • to use carbon pricing as tool for getting industry to take account of their emissions in business and investment decisions
  • to establish the right policy framework to ensure uptake of fuel switching in industry from fossil fuels to low carbon alternatives such as hydrogen, electricity or biomass
  • to establish a targeted approach to mitigate against carbon leakage that meets the government’s domestic and global climate goals, while keeping businesses competitive
  • to develop proposals for new product standards, enabling manufacturers to clearly distinguish their products from high carbon competitors
  • to explore the role of coordinated action on public procurement to create demand for green industrial products, helping to drive down costs and allowing a broader market to develop
  • use the government’s Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, named ‘Project Speed’, to ensure the land planning regime is fit for building low carbon infrastructure
  • to work with the recently re-constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’
  • support the skills transition so that the current and future workforce benefit from the creation of new green jobs
  • an expectation that industrial emissions will fall by two-thirds by 2035, and by at least 90% by 2050, compared to 2018 levels
  • an expectation that at least 3 megatons of CO2 is captured within industry per year by 2030, compared to minimal levels at present