PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry welcomes CCC key principles for economic recovery post-COVID-19

Solar Trade Association
Immediate Release
06 May 2020

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has set out six key principles for resilient economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis, in which reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change is essential. [1]

Welcoming the intervention, STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “It is vital that the Government’s recovery package aligns with its obligation to tackle climate change and deliver a resilient, net zero economy.”

The first CCC principle calls on the Government to “use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs,” and highlights that “many are labour-intensive, spread across the UK and ready to roll out as part of a targeted and timely stimulus package.”

Chris Hewett said: “The Government must not miss this golden chance to place renewables at the heart of the recovery. Solar and energy storage in particular offer swift, job-intensive opportunities for growth, with average ground-mount sites able to be built in a few months, and rooftop installations often taking only a day or two. There is an 8GW pipeline of solar projects ready to be unlocked.”

High solar power outputs in recent weeks have helped to deliver a new coal-free record for the grid. [2] Coal power plants have been offline since 00:00 on Friday 10 April 2020, [3] and since then the UK has seen enough solar power put on the grid to make more than 34 billion cups of tea.

 

ENDS​

 

Editor’s notes:

[1] Committee on Climate Change – Take urgent action on six key principles for a resilient recovery: https://www.theccc.org.uk/2020/05/06/take-urgent-action-on-six-key-principles-for-a-resilient-recovery/

The principles are:

  1. Use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs. The CCC has previously identified a detailed set of investments to reduce emissions and manage the social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change. Many are labour-intensive, spread across the UK and ready to roll out as part of a targeted and timely stimulus package.
  2. Lead a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours. The Government can lead the way to new social norms that benefit wellbeing, improve productivity and reduce emissions. This includes actions to support home-working, remote medical consultations and improve safety for cyclists.
  3. Tackle the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change. Strong policies are needed to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to the destructive risks of climate change and to avoid a disorderly transition to Net Zero. They must be implemented alongside the response to COVID-19 and will bring benefits to health, well-being and national security.
  4. Embed fairness as a core principle. The benefits of acting on climate change must be shared widely, and the costs must not burden those who are least able to pay, or whose livelihoods are most at risk as the economy changes. Lost or threatened jobs of today should be replaced by those created by the new, resilient economy.
  5. Ensure the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk. As it kick-starts the economy, the Government should avoid locking-in higher emissions or increased vulnerability to climate change in the longer-term. Support for carbon-intensive sectors should be contingent on them taking real and lasting action on climate change, and all new investments need to be resilient to future climate risks.
  6. Strengthen incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes. Revenue could be raised by setting or raising carbon prices for sectors of the economy which do not bear the full costs of emitting greenhouse gases. Low global oil prices provide an opportunity to increase carbon taxes without hurting consumers.

[2] Solar Trade Association – Record solar outputs help UK to reach longest coal-free period since pre-industrial times: https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/record-solar-outputs-help-uk-to-reach-longest-coal-free-period-since-pre-industrial-times/

[3] Drax – Electric Insights: https://electricinsights.co.uk/

 

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Name: Jack Dobson-Smith

Title: External Affairs Adviser

Main line: 0203 637 2946

 

Background on the Solar Trade Association:

The mission of the Solar Trade Association is to empower the UK solar transformation. We are paving the way for solar to deliver the maximum possible share of UK energy by 2030 by enabling a bigger and better solar industry. We represent both solar heat and power plus energy storage, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for all three technologies.