Sector - Energy, Fuel & Utilities

NIC states that utility regulators need to establish climate change rules

According to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Britain will not be able to achieve it’s lofty target of having net zero carbon emissions by 2050 if it does not establish a regulatory body to ensure that utility companies invest in sustainable infrastructure.

A report, created as part of the Regulation Study, by the Chair of the NIC, Sir John Armitt, goes into detail about how extensive strategic investment is required in each of the energy, water, and telecommunications sectors to reduce emissions, improve digital connectivity, and safeguard each sector from the dangers of drought and flooding.

Sir John stated: “The government has committed the UK to net zero by 2050, but if regulators aren’t equipped with a new duty to specifically reach this target, then it is simply unattainable.

“The regulatory system must adapt to meet the demands of the future – and the great challenge we face to bring down emissions and build resilience against increasingly frequent extreme weather.

“If ministers are serious about a low-carbon revolution, they must act quickly and decisively to modernise regulation.”

As a proposed solution, Sir John recommends that the current sector regulators, Ofcom, Ofgem, and Ofwat, promote having net figure of zero, in regard to the expulsion of carbon emissions, and promote the improvement of British utility infrastructure resilience.

It is hoped that employing such a strategy will provide utility companies with a clear strategic focus and will encourage them to aim for long term solutions to crises, such as renewable energy and sustainable development.

The National Infrastructure Commissioner, Julia Prescot added: “Our utilities require transformation across the board in coming decades – to bring down emissions, safeguard our water supply and improve digital connectivity up and down the country. That’s going to require unprecedented levels of investment.

“Well-balanced regulation would give infrastructure providers long-term certainty, empowering them to invest in innovative and creative solutions.”

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