We’re the good guys.

27th Jan 2020

 

I get tired of reading misinformed commentary that suggests the energy industry is to blame for the world’s ills. From fighting fuel poverty to tackling climate change our part of the industry is on the side of the angels.

It is gas networks that want to do more to fight fuel poverty, despite the regulator’s reluctance to do so. It is the heating industry that has developed the clean gas boiler, capable of making a simple future switchover to. It is the hot water industry that champions the benefits of hot storage to help tackle climate change and the gas vehicle lobby is at the forefront of utilising biomethane in HGVs to achieve massive carbon reductions. 

But despite these public policy achievements, our industry still emits carbon. So last week, EUA took a major step forward and became Net Zero. We are one of the first trade bodies in the UK to do so and we want others to follow our lead.

After calculating our carbon footprint, nearly 52 tonnes in 2019, we partnered with The Gold Standard to off-set these emissions by supporting a project in Rwanda that offers cleaner cook stoves to reduce wood burning in open fires. A tonne of carbon saved in Rwanda has the same global impact as a tonne of carbon saved in Kenilworth. But, and it is a big but, that carbon off-set in Rwanda also brings enormous development co-benefits. 

Instead of women and girls fetching wood; often felling trees to do so, and cooking on an open fire within the home with all those pollutants breathed in by their family, clean cook stoves offer a carbon saving plus. With time saved girls can often attend school for longer (girl’s attendance at school is synonymous with a positive development outlook); less polluting air means better health and greater opportunity to earn a living; fewer trees felled means carbon is stored rather than released when burnt; more time to spare also equates to greater ability to work and earn. The cleaner cook stoves are also produced locally, providing employment opportunities and income generation. 

Before the fundamentalists scream about a cop-out, the Gold Standard was chosen because it offers the highest environmental integrity for sustainability. And wouldn’t you rather help the developing world grow, become less aid dependent, whilst combatting climate change and offer better value for money in doing so?

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO