UK’s Humber region could lead the world in a green recovery

12 August 2020 | Muriel Cozier

SCI’s Green Recovery File: The Humber’s industrial cluster could achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, potentially making it the first in the world to do so.

One of the UK’s industrial clusters has submitted a joint proposal for funding to develop a comprehensive plan for decarbonising the region.

Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and membership organisation CATCH, an industry led partnership supporting the process, energy, engineering and renewable industries in Yorkshire and Humber, along with eight private sector organisations, have submitted a bid to Innovate UK. The bid is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund Scheme, which is also part of a £350 million green recovery package announced by the Prime Minister. The private sector companies include British Steel, Drax and Phillips 66. A wider group of business will be involved in developing the plan, with all energy-intensive industries in the Humber invited to take part. A decision on the bid is expected in autumn, with the project set to begin in January 2021.

If the bid is successful the £2.6 million project (which would include £1.658 million sought from Government) could move the Humber closer to achieving large-scale decarbonisation. The Humber is reported to emit more CO2 than any of the UK’s other industrial clusters. At the same time the region is vulnerable to flood risk linked to climate change. At least a quarter of the Humber’s economy and one in ten jobs depend on the region’s industries.  

A phased approach will prioritise near-term deliverable investments that will realise quick results, significantly reducing the Humber’s emissions by 2030. The phased approach will include mapping out how Carbon Capture and Storage and hydrogen infrastructure can be scaled up over time, and indentifying the full range of interventions required to achieve net zero by 2040.

Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber LEP said ‘It is imperative that the Humber region decarbonizes on a huge scale – but in a way that safeguards our strategically important industries and creates new jobs and business opportunities. Nowhere has greater potential to be at the heart of the green recovery than the Humber.’

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