A group of bodies including engineering representatives have written to David Cameron demanding he set out his strategy for supporting carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The 12 organisations – including the Association of Consulting and Engineering – urged the prime minister to clarify his approach to the emission-handling technology.
The letter follows cancellation late last year of a £1bn competition designed to get CCS working on a commercial scale.
“Without an immediate, coherent and substantive response from the government to its recent policy reversals, confidence among project developers and investors across the full range of low-carbon technologies risks being irreversibly damaged,” warned the letter.
“This would put at risk the fulfilment of legally-binding climate change targets, jeopardise the prospects for job creation and retention across carbon-intensive sectors, and undermine the case for new investment in electricity generation capacity.
“As a matter of urgency, we seek clarification from you on the government’s approach to CCS going forward. This must be accompanied by a clear strategy to secure CCS deployment in line with the UK’s decarbonisation objectives and timelines.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The Spending Review was a tight financial settlement and difficult decisions had to be made.”
They added: ”It remains the case that CCS has a potential role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK. We want to make our energy supply as clean as possible, but we will do so in a way that keeps bills as low as possible”.
A separate open letter to ministers, signed by 19 business leaders, this week called for “clear leadership and stable policy” to boost renewable energy generation.
Meanwhile researchers recently claimed that existing infrastructure could be used to implement a CCS system capable of slashing Scotland’s carbon emissions by a fifth.