In a progress report on the government’s attempts to shape an industrial strategy, published at the end of last week, the House of Commons BEIS (business, energy and industrial strategy) select committee called for the emissions reduction plan (ERP) to be issued by the end of March.
The government published an industrial strategy green paper in January which promised an ERP would be published later this year.
The new update on the strategy references an intention to publish the plan by the end of March and the BEIS committee said it “trusts” this date will be met.
The committee’s report welcomed proposals in the green paper to support smart and clean energy technologies through the mooted industrial strategy challenge fund.
However, it also urged ministers to ensure that the ERP, when it is published, matches up with the industrial strategy.
“The Government needs to ensure that the emissions reduction plan and industrial strategy are coherent and consistent with commitments in the industrial strategy to actively support delivery of current and future carbon budgets.”
The committee also urges minsters to ensure that efforts to decarbonise the UK’s energy system do not lose out to ensuring supply is affordable.
The report says security of supply, decarbonisation and affordability should continue to be viewed as equal priorities.
The MPs urged ministers to give “clear signs” on how they plan to embed clean growth in economic planning.
Given that the power sector has delivered the bulk of progress in reducing emissions since 2012, the committee suggested that the industrial strategy must include “meaningful policies” to support decarbonisation of industrial activity and energy use in buildings.