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Wood Heat Association responds to Committee on Climate Change Net Zero report

6th May 2019

The Committee on Climate Change has published its report recommending that the Government sets a net zero emission target by 2050.

In particular it highlights the importance of setting strong ambitions to totally decarbonise heat by 2050.

Heat accounts for around a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Decarbonising heat will only be achieved if we rapidly scale up the deployment of proven renewable heat technologies.

In particular this should include the use of modern clean-burning biomass heating systems – a technology which is ready to deploy today and constitutes the largest source of low carbon heat across the rest of Europe.

These recommendations build on last year’s report from the CCC: Biomass in a Low Carbon Economy, which highlighted the contribution that biomass can make towards decarbonising our energy system. A vibrant biomass heat sector brings additional landscape, economic and climate benefits and supports the UK’s forest and land carbon stores by encouraging sustainable woodland management and increased levels of tree planting. In addition, the sector increases the supply of other forms of sustainably grown biomass from UK sources.

Neil Harrison Chair of the Wood Heat Association commented:
‘The CCC once again highlights to Government that decarbonising heat in the UK remains one of the biggest challenges we face, with around one third of our carbon emissions coming from heat alone.

‘We cannot continue to kick the climate can down the road, and the lack of adequate policies has held back UK efforts to decarbonise this critical part of its energy system for too long.

‘There are no silver bullets for decarbonising heat, which has always been the least visible of the UK’s emission reduction efforts, and we need a range of proven technologies and approaches if we are to ensure a low carbon, low cost and sustainable way of heating our homes, businesses and public spaces.

‘We welcome the CCC’s recommendation for stronger ambitions and setting a target for Net Zero by 2050. This will only be achieved if we act today and make the most of established renewable heat technologies. Biomass heat has a key role to play in delivering immediate carbon savings if the UK is going to realistically meet these tighter targets.”

The views of the Wood Heat Association are supported by the UK Pellet Council (UKPC), whose Chair Mark Lebus commented:

‘The UKPC wholly supports the views of the WHA and with one collaborative industry voice we reiterate that biomass is a proven and credible solution to meeting these targets for decarbonisation of heat.’

Woodlets’ response:

‘The UK biomass sector is well-placed to support the CCC net zero target. Growth over the last 10 years has shown what the sector can achieve with the support of Government policy.

'Developing new policy that builds on the current experience and supply chains will allow biomass to contribute, right now, towards reducing the effects of climate change and at the same time providing local economic benefits.’

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