Around a month ago I wrote a short piece for an internal audience at Baxi Heating where I described climate change as ‘’the issue of our generation’’. It’s fair to say this assertion rings a little hollow right now amidst the COVID-19 crisis however I firmly believe that once we are all through this unprecedented and challenging time minds must surely focus once more on the issue of climate change.
It is too early to say how the COVID-19 crisis may affect action on climate change. On the one hand it will certainly take priority in current affairs and international co-operation in the short term. It could also reduce affordability of some carbon reducing measures. On the other hand, unprecedented interventions in our daily lives are taking place which make some proposed climate interventions seem small fry in comparison (for example eating less red meat and using public transport). Economic stimulus packages beyond the immediate crisis phase may also encourage new investment.
I tend to think that many of the pre-crisis trends will continue. In energy an unprecedented global transition is underway – the world is moving away from fossil fuels towards a low carbon future. In the second half of this century, greenhouse gases need to be stopped if we are to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees. The rate of change is already happening faster than many thought possible but needs to be accelerated even further.
Tackling emissions from heat will be a key part of the the decarbonisation challenge. It has been fantastic at Baxi Heating that we have been in the news in recent weeks:
- Firstly, the Hydrogen Taskforce report set out a strategic case for the development of a UK hydrogen economy and included our call to require that hydrogen ready boilers should be fitted in domestic buildings.
- Secondly, the Smart Hot Water Project known as USER officially launched with the installation of the first smart controls for hot water cylinder which will enable existing and new cylinders across the UK to contribute to electricity system balancing.
Whatever the short-term effects of the current crisis, we know that we need to take a long-term perspective and to work out how our business transitions to a cleaner low carbon future.
There are challenges that lay ahead if the UK is to meet its 2050 climate target, but there is also the opportunity for us to lead the way. By acting early and planning ahead, we will ensure that our customers can access the lowest-carbon technology, at an affordable price and at the same time limit our environmental impact. Today, Baxi Heating is going the extra step so that tomorrow our customers will see the benefits.
Check out our Future of Heat section.