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Towards zero carbon for the UK's Humberside region

Energy companies Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures have launched a new campaign, Zero Carbon Humber, to show how carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology could make the Humber a net zero carbon economy and provide a foundation for the rollout of hydrogen as a fuel across the wider Yorkshire region. 

Working with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and CATCH, a trade body for industrial companies in the region, the campaign is a response to the government’s ambition to establish the first net zero carbon industrial cluster in the UK by 2040. The Humber is home to the UK’s largest regional industrial economy, hosting around 100 chemical and refining companies employing 55,000 people and contributing £18bn to UK GDP each year. 

But the Humber is also the most carbon intensive industrial region in the country, says the campaign, which suggests that if industrial businesses across the Humber fail to decarbonise, they will face costs of between £1.4bn and £4.2bn in carbon taxes by 2040. 

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said earlier this year that deploying CCUS and hydrogen technology at scale is essential if the UK is to meet its target of net zero carbon by 2050. It called on industry and government to work together to start producing hydrogen in at least one industrial cluster by 2030, along with combining biomass with CCUS technology to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 

Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group commented: ‘By working together, the Humber region can become the world’s first zero carbon economy and thrive again as a British industrial powerhouse and be at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis. We can help Britain become a world leader in emerging technologies like carbon capture, preserving and creating jobs, and rebalancing the economy.’ 

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