According to a new study between Veolia and YouGov, 77% of adults in Great Britain believe that limiting climate change is the responsibility of the current generation and its leaders, writes Tim Duret, Director of Sustainable Technology, Veolia UK and Ireland.
In a survey with YouGov, two in five GB adults asked also said that their concern about carbon in 2020 had grown over the last five years. With COP26 just a year away and environmental leaders rallying around climate action, the public have shown their support for sustainability and want action now.
Despite some growing concern, only 17% of those asked had faith in the UK reaching our net zero targets by 2050. Carbon emissions are one of the biggest contributors to global warming and to reduce these the Government has been pledging their support to alternate low carbon and renewable energy solutions through the Resources and Waste Strategy and the Green Heat Network Fund.
However, the public also showed that they believe it was everyone’s responsibility to help cut carbon ranging from the Government (27%) to consumers (17%) to the energy industry (20%) to UK business (10%).
Reducing our carbon emissions is a key way to stop global warming and limit the damage we are doing to the environment. When asked what the biggest issue was facing us right now, only 22% of people said climate change. We need to change the narrative, protecting our planet needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda and as an industry we are working alongside the Government to make sure that the only option is the carbon neutral option.
“Protecting our planet needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda”
Through innovation we can use our resources, our sludge, our waste, our wind, our biomass to create clean energy. We must stop looking at renewable and low carbon energy as luxury choices, and look at them being the only option for a decarbonised future.
Veolia’s work here has begun. Veolia now manages 500MWe of low carbon and renewable energy, enough to power 1.2 million homes. The energy activities of Veolia annually achieve CO2 reductions of around 400,000 tonnes for customers through efficient on-site generation of low carbon and renewable electricity, heat and cooling. By using combined heat and power (CHP) technologies we enable over 600 energy customers to deliver major carbon savings and secure their own stable electricity and heat supplies independent of the grid. Customers include industry, hospitals, supermarkets, universities, leisure centres, hotels, water treatment sites, housing developments and even museums.
By harnessing the heat produced in the generating process and reducing transmission over long distances by being site based the CHPs save energy and carbon – they are typically twice as energy efficient as grid supplied electricity and separate heat plant.
Veolia also manage the processes that transform food waste, non-recyclable waste and sewage into valuable renewable energy – renewable carbon neutral energy plant includes 60 MWe of renewable electricity production – enough to power 160,000 homes