Dear Mr Harrabin,
I read with interest your coverage of the World Energy Investment report prepared by the International Energy Agency which illustrates the profound impact Covid-19 has had on the energy industry, and although very true, it does raise some alarm bells for me.
The level of media coverage the coronavirus has had over the last two months plus, has totally over-shadowed what should have been a monumental year for the UK climate movement, with COP26 planned to take place in November, now postponed to the end of 2021, and the growing momentum from industry and consumers alike to address the growing threat of a climate emergency.
I would like to think that the ‘lockdown’ has made people think more about the environment and their contribution to battling climate change. Even more so with headlines in the mainstream media about air pollution readings plummeting to their lowest levels in years since people globally have been told to stay at home. Even we as a business have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than a tonne each week we’ve remained at home. But as suggested in your article, I can’t help but think these reductions in emissions are not going to be sustained.
What really concerns me is the lack of commitment to invest in renewables even though there is a growing desire for the government to deliver a ‘green recovery’.
I think you would agree that investing in renewable energy must be at the forefront. And this focus can’t just be on solar and wind, but other innovative technologies such as anaerobic digestion (AD), which is something that is currently barely mentioned among policy makers and the government. AD is a proven technology which could deliver 30% of the UK’s carbon 2030 carbon budget in hardest to decarbonise sectors, provide green heat to 6.4 million homes and create 30,000 jobs by 2030.
Throughout the pandemic, renewable energy projects have continued to offer positive returns, and from our experience AD plants have shown themselves to be truly resilient. All our operational plants have continued to run despite the economic shutdown and incomes have been maintained, and for investors this surely offers assurance of return on investment.
Renewables are the way forward, and investment will now be critical to ensuring we reach the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050, while also aiming to end sending waste to landfill. Governments acted quickly to the coronavirus pandemic, so why shouldn’t they do the same for the looming climate emergency which is arguably a much bigger issue.
Director, Privilege Finance