Last reviewed 7 April 2022

The Environmental Audit Committee has warned ministers that current government policy could see heavy industrial emitters dodge responsibilities to cut emissions.

Currently targets for greenhouse gas reductions and removal targets are combined, which the EAC says offers little incentive for industries to prioritise cutting emissions when the future option of negative emission technologies (NETs) is there. The EAC is therefore calling for sector-specific targets to reduce emissions.

Where options to decarbonise are often more limited, such as in the steel and cement sectors, there is value in using NETs, the EAC states. However, according to the Committee, the Government is failing to take swift enough action to roll out technologies, with both BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) and DACCS (direct air carbon capture and storage) at close to zero levels of deployment in the UK. Net zero cannot be met without technologies to remove emissions from hard-to-decarbonise sectors, the EAC adds.