As one of the UK’s most European-facing sectors, science and research is grappling with considerable uncertainty around what post-exit Britain will look like. In every area, from staffing to regulation, important questions remain unanswered. But perhaps the issue of climate control and carbon management – where the UK and its scientific sector plays a leading role – is one area where a co-operative approach is more likely.
Despite the fact that the government is yet to release its long awaited Clean Growth Plan and uncertainty around the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), climate change and carbon emissions management is one area where Britain has a stronger hand to play.
It is widely anticipated that the UK will continue to exceed European standards on environmental control. We’re certainly leading the way at the moment; a recent PwC study showed the UK topped the G20 decarbonisation league table with carbon intensity falling 7.7% in 2016 due largely to the on-going shift away from coal power, improvements in energy efficiency and investment in renewables.
The UK’s domestic Climate Change Act commits us to a 57% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, compared to the 40% target in 2030 for the EU as a whole. So without the UK, the remaining EU member states would either have to increase ambition or reduce the overall target, with a major impact on the future of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (already weakened by the US withdrawal under Trump). Not only is it in the EU’s interests to seek a co-operative solution that preserves energy and climate objectives, member states will also want to tap in to our expertise in clean technologies.
Control the climate in your laboratory
The growing emphasis on climate control and carbon emission reduction applies directly to the operation of our laboratories. Why? Because scientific research is itself highly energy intensive, and scientific equipment is one of the main offenders – responsible for high levels of amenities (the average chemical fume cupboard exhausts between 0.35 m3/sec and 0.47m3/sec), and creating an enormous amount of waste.
More and more lab managers are themselves taking advantage of green technologies to reduce their energy usage, costs and carbon emissions – like changing from a continuous to variable air flow system for fume cupboard ventilation.
TEL are world leaders in air flow controls and monitors for laboratory fume cupboards. Our products are designed to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption and costs while improving user safety standards. Our systems can be retrofitted to existing laboratory apparatus or form part of a new build project.