New Forest East



Dr Julian Lewis:  To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the cost of phasing out the use of natural gas in domestic dwellings; what the planned timescale is for phasing out the use of natural gas in such dwellings; whether such phasing out will be carried out by the UK (a) only on a multilateral basis or (b) irrespective of what the governments of other countries plan to do; and what funding he plans for implementing that policy.  [24993]

[Due for Answer on 9 March. Answered on 10 March.]


The Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth (Kwasi Kwarteng): Meeting our net-zero target by 2050 will require virtually all heat in buildings to be decarbonised, and heat in industry to be reduced to close to zero carbon emissions. It will involve large-scale transformation and wide-ranging change to energy systems and markets. The way heating is supplied to over 28 million homes, businesses and industrial users will need to change. Given the diversity of heat demand in the United Kingdom, no one solution can provide the best option for everyone. We are currently exploring and testing the different approaches to heat decarbonisation, including heat networks, heat pumps, hydrogen and biogas and improving energy efficiency in new buildings – a mix of technologies and customer options will need to be available to decarbonise heat at scale.

The Department is developing policies to deliver low carbon heating in the 2020s and meet our climate targets. We are planning to publish a Heat and Building Strategy later this year, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings. These include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat and set us on a path to decarbonising all homes and buildings.

Alongside the action we are taking at home, the UK remains committed to demonstrating global leadership in tackling climate change. The UK is already demonstrating practical leadership across all aspects of the fight to tackle climate change. We’ve decarbonised faster than any other G20 nation since 2000, and through our Clean Growth Strategy and annual reports have a comprehensive and publicly available strategy. The UK is among the largest contributors of climate finance, providing at least £5.8 billion between 2016 to 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce deforestation and support cleaner economic growth. At the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will double our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion from 2021 to 2025 to drive clean and resilient growth in developing countries.