Ground Source Heat Pump Association

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Getting Serious about Net Zero
before 2050

It is easy for the Government to announce that it is aiming for the UK to have "Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050". Such a general aspiration is easy to voice. What is needed is a urgent plan to curb the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere before the ecosystems of the world are altered beyond repair.

The problem of climate change is caused by excess release of CO2.

CO2 is the by-product of combustion.

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was no higher than 280 ppm for 10,000 years up until the mid eighteenth century, before the steam age. It has since risen to 415 ppm in 2019, and is still rising by around 2 ppm a year – the highest level for over 14 million years.

There is an argument that we need to burn fuel to fly aeroplanes.

However, we do NOT need to burn fuel for heating. The combustion-free alternative is available now through using Heat Transfer, which means using heat pumps.

Over 100,000 heat pumps were sold in Sweden in 2018.

Less than 18,000 heat pumps were sold in the UK in 2018 (despite the UK having a population five times as large as Sweden).

The reason for Swedish people buying 25 times more heat pumps per person than Britons is very simple:

The price of gas in the UK is amongst the lowest of any major EU nation. The price of electricity in amongst the highest of major EU nation.

The price of gas in Sweden is amongst the highest of any major EU nation. The price of electricity in Sweden is amongst the lowest of any major EU nation.

The logical choice in Sweden is to use a heat pump for heating. The logical choice in the UK is to burn gas (or oil).

Electrification of Heat

To reduce the release of CO2 the Government needs to encourage the move to the Electrification of Heat and the use of heat pumps instead of combustion.

However, the UK imposes Climate Change Levies on the price of electricity at 2.5 times the rate charged on gas. The Climate Change Levy on electricity increased by 45% as recently as 1 April 2019.

Government policies are therefore encouraging the burning of gas when they should be doing the opposite.

No amount of talk about 'Net Zero by 2050' will make any difference until the Government stops encouraging burning.

The Government should listen carefully to David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion and take action.

What steps should Government take now?

These are five measures Government should take now to address climate change:

 

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