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Scepticism around 2050 zero emissions target

19 June 2019

There remains a high level of scepticism as to whether the UK government can meet its ambitious zero emissions target by 2050, according to Will Argent of Gravis Capital Partners. 

In response to the announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May that the UK will be the first major economy to set net zero emissions target in law, Argent said a lot more renewable energy capacity will be required to meet the targets.

Argent, fund adviser to the VT Gravis Clean Energy Income Fund, said: “While the government’s new target is laudable, there remains a high level of scepticism as to whether this can be achieved. The UK is barely on track to reach its more imminent target of reducing greenhouse emissions by 57% between 1990 and 2030 and the government has been accused of creative ‘carbon accounting’ when articulating the progress made to date.”

Argent said the removal of incentives to construct new onshore wind and solar capacity has led to a hiatus in the build out of new projects, despite a sharp decline in the relative cost of such technologies.

He added: “Encouragingly, support mechanisms are in place to incentivise the doubling of the UK’s offshore wind capacity over the next decade and this form of energy generation is set to deliver at least a third of UK electricity requirements by 2030.

“Nevertheless, we believe a lot more renewable energy capacity is required in order for the UK to meet these new emission reduction targets and while investors are willing to provide capital to the sector, the reintroduction of some form of support mechanism across the broader range of renewable energy technologies would surely expedite the process.”