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Engineering essential to deliver Climate Change Bill, says Royal Academy

The Royal Academy of Engineering yesterday responded to the Climate Change Bill by urging engineers to rise to the global warming challenge, and win over public opinion in order to meet the challenges set in the Climate Change Bill.
But Royal Academy of Engineering vice president Dr Sue Ion, said that for engineers to do this the carbon trading system must be extended beyond 2012 giving the market enough certainty to invest in new technologies.'The Government has set extremely demanding targets for reducing domestic carbon dioxide emissions by 20% of 1990 levels by 2010. In order to achieve this, the framework of mechanisms to control emissions must be simplified and secured for 15 to 20 years. This is crucial to increase understanding of the issues and to give private industry the necessary confidence to make large capital investments and commit funds to researching technical solutions.''We must continue to reduce carbon emissions from large-scale electricity generation through a diverse mix of low-carbon fuels including nuclear power, renewable sources, biofuels and clean coal. Some of these present significant engineering challenges,' she said. To achieve this Ion says that the government must invest heavily in energy research, particularly into clean coal and carbon capture and prepare 'long-term for a future beyond oil and to consider the potential of hydrogen and other non fossil sourced forms of energy for the transport sector.'But she highlighted that research and development investment has dropped significantly since energy privitisation.She adds that the government must work more coherently. 'The DTI, DfT and Defra are all responsible for various parts of energy policy and climate change, there still seems to be very little cohesion between government departments.'

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