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Low Carbon Britain 2018 Developing a Smart, Resilient, Digital Society is a unique conference that will address Great Britain’s current carbon reduction position and allow us to hear from those leading and driving the policies and proposals. One of the main focuses of the conference is to discuss how public sector along with towns, villages and cities can reduce their carbon emissions. The current situation will be highlighted and a discussion surrounding how this can be improved and delivered will play an imperative part within the conference.

Areas for action identified in the Clean Growth Strategy are broad-based and cover most sectors. However, gaps remain to meeting the carbon budgets and there are risks relating to existing policies and to the new proposals and intentions.


The Government has set out key actions and milestones for developing the proposals in the Clean Growth Strategy. These will need to be delivered, and supplemented by further ambition

Low-carbon heat in homes, businesses and industry. The commitment to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings off the gas grid is welcome. This should include heat pump deployment, which, together with installation in new-build properties, would develop heat pump markets and supply chains in order to prepare, if necessary, for potential widespread deployment in buildings connected to the gas grid from the 2030s. However, the Strategy provides little commitment to a low-carbon supply mix in heat networks and no commitment to biomethane post-2021, both of which the Committee has identified as ‘low-regrets’ options at this stage. There is also little commitment to support an increase in the use of bioenergy for industrial process heat.

Surface transport.The Government has set out an ambition for 30-70% of car sales and up to 40% of van sales in 2030 to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, and greater ambition will be needed for vans. There is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs. More is also needed on shifting travel demand from passenger cars to lower-emission modes.

Power generation. The Government has set out plans for the decarbonisation of UK reliance on new nuclear build and net imports across interconnectors, both of which have associated risks. More is needed to provide a route to market for low-carbon electricity generation, especially lower-cost options such as onshore wind and solar, and to contract for additional low-carbon generation should the Government’s expected contributions from new nuclear plants and overseas generators under-deliver.

Agriculture and land use.A commitment to include climate change mitigation as part of a new system of future agricultural support is welcome. However, strong policies to deliver emissions reductions in agriculture need to be developed soon. The acceleration of tree-planting rates should occur earlier than the Strategy’s proposed timeline of the 2020s, to ensure that around 70,000 hectares of afforestation is delivered in England by 2025.

Aviation.The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.

Britain’s cities are currently exploring ways to harness the power of data and technology to make their cities a better place to live, work and play. Cities and their citizens generate a huge amount of data, which can be used in smart ways to achieve big things. A city is nothing without its people, so where better to explore how we can fuse open data and technology to make a real difference to lives of citizens. “Smart cities are the future and we want to make sure our cities are equipped to deliver for their citizens of Britain. This means being smart about how we use data and technology to improve services, promote innovation and empower people and communities.”

If London is to make the most of solar energy, there are some big challenges we need to overcome. London has fallen behind other areas of the UK and we urgently need to increase installation rates to catch up. Sudden changes to national policy have also had a real impact on the solar industry, and I want us to reverse some of the damage done in London by creating a steady demand for the technology.

This is going to be achieved by: Ensuring more solar power is generated across the Greater London Authority estate; using planning powers to drive solar in new developments; supporting community projects; bulk buying solar to bring the costs down; and delivering solar panels through energy efficiency delivery schemes under the Energy for Londoners programme.