Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming
CPI welcomes the new Committee on Climate Change report (published 2 May 2019) and the wide-ranging analysis that underpins the call to move towards a net-zero emissions target by 2050. By definition, climate change issues need to be addressed globally and we urge the Government to redouble efforts to ensure international efforts match those of the UK. Manufacturing operates in a fiercely competitive international environment and higher carbon costs in the UK only serve to disadvantage our industry and lose UK jobs with no environmental gain if production simply moves overseas.
Paper is both renewable and recyclable and will play an increasingly important role in a circular and resource efficient economy. Our sector has already made huge strides to decarbonise production. In 2018, manufacturing each tonne of UK made paper emitted 0.54 tonnes of carbon dioxide – a reduction of 59% from the 1990 baseline against which progress is measured. UK Papermakers continue to work closely with Government to deliver the actions identified through the sector 2050 Decarbonisation Roadmap and we expect this partnership to continue and get stronger.
CPI also welcomes the increased focus on decarbonising heat, a particularly challenging topic as heat is needed to dry paper, and natural gas boilers are the standard technology used in mills utilising recycled paper as a feedstock – currently around 75% of fibre used in the UK. We look forward to supporting efforts seeking to develop workable and cost-effective alternatives to natural gas that can be rolled out to industry once technically proven.