BLOG ARTICLE: 13/09/2022

BCC welcomes a pro-business approach to hitting net zero targets by 2050


BCC welcomes a pro-business approach to hitting net zero targets by 2050

The British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) looks forward to working with the new Government, in particular Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng MP.

We welcome Government’s recognition of the energy crisis and the imperative to support businesses, as we’re sure will all UK manufacturers and the Foundation Industries in particular.

BCC also welcomes a new approach to decarbonisation, with the announcement of a review on how Government can achieve net zero by 2050 in a way that is pro-business and pro-growth.

We have stressed to Government for a long time that the UK cannot decarbonise through deindustrialisation to fulfil the green agenda.

The ceramics sector is committed to decarbonising in line with the UK’s ambition for net zero by 2050, and we are already playing our part. Ceramics is one of the most energy-intensive manufacturing industries in the UK, on account of the need to fire at high temperatures.

It is also an extremely diverse sector and comprises manufacturers of heavy clay construction products (such as bricks, blocks, roof tiles and drainage pipes); whitewares (tableware, giftware, sanitaryware, wall tiles); refractories (vital in all high-temperature processes); advanced ceramics (for numerous electronic, medical, aerospace, environmental, military and structural applications); as well as raw material and equipment suppliers to the sector.

All ceramic businesses compete in fiercely competitive global markets and therefore the sector’s success is fundamentally reliant on internationally competitive energy and climate costs.

The UK ceramics industry needs support to make the low-carbon transition, rather than achieving net zero simply by sending manufacturing overseas and offshoring. Carbon reduction targets need to be more closely aligned with the ability of industry to decarbonise and so avoid putting the UK ceramics sector at a severe competitive disadvantage with competitors who pay little or no regard to environmental issues.

Therefore, we are encouraged that the Government has listened to our needs and initiated this vital review.