18 May 2023: The UK’s Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps has officially announced the UK's intention to participate in US President, Joe Biden's worldwide initiative aimed at advancing and expanding the development of carbon removal technologies.
Grant Shapps announced that during his four-day trip to the US, it was decided that the UK will become a part of the President's Carbon Management Challenge. The Challenge aims to prompt nations to swiftly reduce their emissions while also fostering the advancement of technologies for capturing CO2 and securely storing it in subterranean locations.
The United Kingdom possesses a significant capacity for carbon storage, including substantial potential beneath the North Sea, surpassing that of most countries globally. It can hold a maximum of 78 billion tonnes of carbon, which is about the same as the combined weight of around 15 billion elephants. As a result, a brand new industry is expected to emerge, contributing £8 billion to the UK economy and generating roughly 50,000 employment opportunities. This development aligns with the government's primary focus on fostering economic growth.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero said in an official government press release, ‘‘We’re world leaders in renewable technologies and by supporting President Biden’s Carbon Management Challenge we are taking a step closer to realising our huge potential and be at the forefront of this exciting industry of the future.’’
Alongside the Carbon Management Challenge, the UK is providing support to John Kerry's First Movers Coalition (FMC) through the Breakthrough Agenda, an initiative led by the UK and endorsed by 45 world leaders. The FMC encourages companies worldwide to make commitments to reducing their carbon emissions, including improvements in manufacturing processes and supply chains.
Up to this point, six UK companies, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, the Aveva Group, Rio Tinto, National Grid, and Ernst & Young, have joined as partners. Grant Shapps urges other British businesses to consider joining this endeavour, of decarbonising the most carbon-intensive industries.
By joining forces, these two nations are on the path to make a profound impact on global emissions reduction efforts and pave the way for a sustainable and secure energy future.