Industry and Government must collaborate to achieve a low carbon future.
Government’s announcement to set a 2050 target for net-zero carbon emissions is cautiously-welcomed by the ceramics industry, provided the significant costs do not damage the sector’s international competitiveness.
The UK is stepping up to lead the way on tackling climate change, but to achieve this industry will need support for proven technologies to be rolled-out at scale. Development of future technology like hydrogen and large-scale electric continuous kilns, will also be essential for ceramic manufacturing in the decades to come.
Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “Confirmation of the net zero 2050 target has significant implications for the future of the UK ceramics industry so it is imperative Government and industry leaders collaborate on meeting this shared challenge.
“Over the next three decades we must see a real step-change in developing and rolling-out of proven and innovative new solutions to further reduce our carbon intensity.
“With this, the potential costs are significant, so Government support and clear national policy is urgently needed. Given kiln lifetimes of up to 40 years, 2050 is less than one investment cycle away.”
Greater dependence on imported products demonstrates offshoring of emissions from the UK, and this needs to be acknowledged as a global responsibility which requires an international solution.
Laura added: “We are concerned that as we decarbonise, more goods bought and used in the UK are now being produced overseas, predominantly from non-EU countries.
“It is critical decarbonisation is not done unilaterally. Globally, the UK accounts for ~1% of GHG emissions and other countries must follow suit to face what is truly a global challenge.
“Policymakers must make greater use of consumption emissions data, factoring in these emissions from imported goods, to ensure we do not decarbonise by deindustrialising.
“UK industrial energy prices must also become internationally-competitive, as without a level playing field manufacturing and jobs will continue to move offshore, only to import the goods from elsewhere and doing nothing to reduce global emissions”
Notes to editors
The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacturing, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.
For further information please contact:
Ciara Jagger, Communications Manager, British Ceramic Confederation, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA.
Tel: 01782 572851 M: 07535 084055