Speculation is rife that an agreement achieved at December’s gathering of the United Nations to discuss climate change could spell the beginning of the end for cooking and heating with gas. The Paris climate change deal to stop global warming, approved by 195 countries, commits nations to greater reductions in greenhouse gases from 2020 onwards.
Britain’s existing target to reduce greenhouse gases is based on limiting global warming to a rise of 2C. But the new agreement goes further, aiming to limit warming to ‘well below’ 2C by the end of the century.
Experts are predicting that the stricter targets mean gas hobs and ovens and gas-fired boilers will become a thing of the past. ‘This will affect the power sector first,” said Jim Watson, professor of energy policy at Sussex University, “but as we move through to the 2030s and beyond we’ll have to find new ways of heating our homes and cooking our food.’
Around 23 million British homes use gas, with a third of natural gas used in Britain burnt by domestic boilers, cookers or heaters.
Support natural gas-powered transport – Gasrec urges government
Europe's leading supplier of liquefied gas fuel to the transport sector, Gasrec, has called on the UK government to boost the take-up of natural gas-powered vehicles by introducing a range of low-cost measures.
In a report, ‘Driving change to low emission transport’, Gasrec reveals manufacturer testing demonstrating that, when compared to Euro 6 diesel emission standards, Euro 6 gas-powered HGVs can deliver a reduction of 96% less carbon particulate emissions and 78% less NOx emissions, along with an annual cut in CO2 emissions of up to 19 tonnes per vehicle. If a Bio-LNG blend of fuel is used, CO2 savings could also increase to 100 tonnes per vehicle per year.
Among the recommended measures are:
- fuel taxation reflecting the fuel’s impacts on the environment
- wider introduction of clean air zones, especially at British ports
- immediate implementation of the agreed EU Weights and Dimensions Directive
- the removal of green technology driving licence restrictions for 3.5-tonne delivery vehicles
- permission for night-time deliveries with quieter vehicles • the promotion of low emission vehicles through public tenders
The report claims that if the UK replaced just 1% of light and heavy commercial vehicles, buses and coaches with natural gas-powered equivalents, more than 64,000 tonnes of CO2 would be saved and NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions would also be significantly reduced.
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