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UK water companies pledge to deliver net-zero water supply by 2030

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UK water companies have joined forces in pledging to deliver a net-zero water supply for customers by 2030.

Water UK is the first industry trade body to be made one of 20 official partners to the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero campaign, which aims to rally leadership across businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery.

Water UK represents all water firms in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The development of the Net Zero 2030 Routemap builds on the ‘significant progress’ made by the sector in recent years, having almost halved operational emissions since 2011 through a combination of renewable energy generation, energy efficiency measures, and the production of biomethane from sewage treatment processes.

Anglian Water and Severn Trent are the first companies to join the campaign under the Water UK umbrella, building on the launch of the Net Zero 2030 Routemap in November. Designed to provide water companies with a framework on which to build their own net-zero action plans, the Routemap estimated potential investments of £2-4 billion into tackling emissions associated with providing clean water to more than 28 million homes and businesses.

Peter Simpson, Anglian Water CEO, said: “We’re proud to be one of the first companies to join the international Race to Zero Campaign, and to share our ambition and journey as an industry to reach net-zero carbon by 2030.

“Never has the opportunity been greater to work towards a better, greener recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, nor has the need been more critical.

“In the East of England, we face the challenges brought by climate change and population growth more keenly than anywhere else in the UK, and it is only by working collaboratively towards a common goal that we will reach our target.”

“Water UK has shone a light on the path to net-zero for the water sector with a ground-breaking plan to deliver a net-zero water supply for customers by 2030 – the world’s first sector-wide commitment of its kind,” said Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Champion for COP26.

“We’re delighted to welcome them as a partner of the Race to Zero campaign, and to catalyse ambitious climate action across the water sector as we race to COP26.”