The topic of Net Zero Carbon is something we have been hearing about for a while and it is becoming even more prevalent with the government’s announcement that they will be investing £40 billion in the ‘green industrial revolution’. The 2021 budget plans demonstrate the government’s growing commitment to a sustainable future.
As a result, awareness of the importance of sustainability will further increase but there is still a need to educate ourselves on the background to global warming and its impact. It can seem quite daunting, so we have summarised the changes that need to be tackled and the challenges it poses to education providers.
Climate Change (or global warming) is the name given to long-term temperature change(s) on and around the Earth’s surface. These changes cause long term shifts in weather patterns. It impacts the whole of the Earth and is causing polar ice sheets and glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise.
Another term associated with Climate Change is ‘Greenhouse gases’ (GHG’s), they change the temperatures we see by absorbing long wave radiation (or heat), which is reflected off the Earth’s surface. They are then capable of sending that radiation back to Earth. As more fossil fuels are combusted and damaging GHG’s released, our atmosphere absorbs more radiation and so continues to warm up. This is known as the “greenhouse effect”.
Emissions come from a large range of activities including electricity generation, industrial processes, and transportation. Currently electricity and transport represent the largest sources of emissions and greatest opportunity for saving. However, natural gas and oil(s) also generate harmful emissions.
In December 2015, the COP21 Climate Change conference produced the so-called Paris Agreement, a Global agreement between nations that aims to keep the rise in temperature to 1.5° and to ensure that temperatures stay below 2°. However, to achieve this, global GHG emissions must be stabilised and then reduced.
There has already been considerable net zero carbon coverage from social media to Greta Thunberg to continual news feeds. In May 2019, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advised government that the UK should aim to be net zero on all greenhouse gases by 2050. This would keep the UK in line with the commitments it made as part of the 2016 Paris Agreement. The UK government has stated that we will be Net Zero by 2050. Further, the UK is holding the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November so the world is and will be watching.
But what does Net Zero Carbon mean?
Net zero refers to achieving the balance between the level of GHG’s produced against the amount removed from our atmosphere. There are two ways to achieving this:
1) Reducing existing emissions, and 2) Removing greenhouse gases.
A gross-zero target would mean reducing all emissions to zero, which unfortunately is not realistic therefore the “net zero” target acknowledges there will be some emissions but these need to be offset. When the carbon emissions produced are cancelled out by the amount removed, the UK will in effect be a net zero emitter.
Considerable legislative changes have already been introduced. The government’s energy white paper was published in December outlining our net zero future. Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) legislation is in force meaning that, subject to certain people and financial criteria, Schools, Academies and Colleges need to report their carbon emissions.
Building infrastructure legislation is being reviewed along with decarbonisation, biomass, and hydrogen strategies. All of this adds up to considerable change and additional pressure as we all must do out bit to reduce emissions.
Dukefield Energy are supporting many Schools, Academies and Colleges on their energy journey by making the complex simple. We are procurement and energy management specialists with expertise in the following areas:
- Creating and Managing Net Zero Carbon Strategies - Data Management and Reporting - SECR Reporting and Advice - Display Energy Certificate (DEC) assessments and compliance - Energy Management Surveys and Reports - Energy Policies - Carbon Management Plans - Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessments and compliance - Procurement – Renewable Electricity and Gas - Renewable Technologies – ground / air / water source heat pumps - Biomass - Anaerobic Digestion - Behavioural Change Strategies
Dukefield Energy are well placed to help you in your quest to become net zero carbon, to help and manage your emissions (and cost). Not only that, via the Utilities and Supplies framework we have collectively made our customers savings of over £3.5 million pounds with their power and gas contracts in the last 2 years.
If you would like more information on net zero and what it means for your organisation or if you require support in procuring your energy contract get in touch today.
In Ipsos MORI’s latest KnowledgePanel poll, the most preferred options for catching up on lost learning from parents are to receive increased wellbeing support (56%) and additional tutoring sessions outside of school hours (55%).