The UK chemical industry welcomes the findings of the Committee on Climate Change annual progress report. The UK Government has set a laudable target of net zero by 2050. Working together we have identified key elements necessary to decarbonise our sector and support other sectors to do similar, but all of this is yet to backed with joined-up, realistic and ambitious delivery plans.
The sector can and will reach net zero, and will provide the advanced materials for other sectors to get there too. But as trade-exposed, energy-intensive manufacturers, the industry is vulnerable to carbon leakage and needs the right policies to remain internationally competitive during this transition.
Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of trade body, the Chemical Industries Association said: "We were pleased to see the Committee urging the government to accelerate the pace and scale of support from Treasury. We fully support their recommendations to consult on electricity pricing in order to remove disincentives to electrification, to urgently publish a UK Hydrogen Strategy and to deliver support for industrial carbon capture and storage.
We also noted the Committee’s shared desire not to outsource our emissions and welcomed their recommendation that industrial decarbonisation policies should not just support but create jobs, especially in regions with a reliance on the industrial sector. In support of this, we feel that the Committee’s recommendation to prioritise border carbon tariffs or minimum standards for imported goods will be critical to ensuring a just transition for UK industry."
For more information please contact Simon Marsh at [email protected] or 07951 389197.
About the chemical industry:
- Businesses who make chemical products and solutions are integral to something like 96% of all manufactured goods. Whether it is ingredients for food and medicines; paints and coatings for cars and planes or materials for mobile phones and electric vehicle batteries, the chemical industry is truly the “industry of industries” – also playing a critical role in the nation’s response to Covid-19 through its supply of hand sanitiser, PPE and vaccine ingredients.
- Chemical businesses are located throughout the UK, with many of them clustered together in the North East of England, North West of England and Central Scotland. These factories and laboratories, operated by a highly trained and skilled workforce, make a significant contribution towards the UK’s productivity performance – double that of any other manufacturing industry and triple that of any part of the UK economy.
- Nearly half a million people are employed in the sector or have roles that are dependent on the sector. Chemical workers typically earn 35% more than other manufacturing industries and 54% more than the average worker.
- From Runcorn to the Humber Bank; from Teesside to Grangemouth, chemical businesses and their employees right across the country are essential to the Government’s levelling-up agenda.
- We are the country’s biggest manufacturing exporter, sending goods to the value of more than £57 billion to other countries. The EU represents our most important market, but we continue to work closely with Government to inform and secure UK trade deals with other key chemical markets such as Japan and the USA.