From the TUC

Powering ahead for Yorkshire and the Humber’s energy intensive industries

23 Jul 2016, by in Environment

This week the TUC published a major paper on how UK industry can match Europe’s environmental leaders. Comparing UK industry with the Germans and the Danes is very timely given the Brexit vote on June 23rd and what this means for heavy industry across Yorkshire and the Humber.

We are the most industry intensive and energy intensive region in the UK. Oil Refineries, Steel, glass and cement manufacturers along with other energy users including ceramics, paper and of course a large number of coal and gas fired power stations.

The regional TUC estimates that at least 20,000 jobs are directly employed in these plants, and thousands more in the supply chains. For many of these foundation industries notably, steel, chemicals and cement manufacture, delivery of the government’s 2050 industrial energy roadmaps is critical. The cancellation of the White Rose CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) project was a massive disappointment to industry and the power sector. We still hope to lobby the government to back the project, creating thousands of new jobs through the CCS network, and protecting over 25.000 people directly employed and thousands more in the supply chain.

The UK’s carbon abatement strategy relies heavily on four developments;

  • development of a CCS network for power and heavy industry
  • replacing coal and gas power station with cleaner renewables and nuclear power
  • fuel switching by industries (to biogas or synthetic gasses)
  • heat recovery and energy efficiency processes

In the region we are working with all our stakeholders, employers, trade unions, environmental groups and the LEP’s (local enterprise partnerships) to develop a proactive partnership to support a just transition. We all agree that building a sustainable efficient and productive economy is vital to the economic wellbeing of all our people across the region.

We have already made a great start with the massive investment from Siemens on the Humber to build the wind turbines crucial to reducing our carbon emissions and helping to provide well paid well skilled jobs in an area badly hit by industrial decline in the last few decades.

We are committed to getting the job done together in partnership so Yorkshire and the Humber can retain its manufacturing and energy industries in a clean, profitable and sustainable environment for the future of our children.