Claire Perry – 2019 Statement on the Energy Council

Below is the text of the statement made by Claire Perry, the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, in the House of Commons on 10 January 2019.

The Energy Council took place on 19 December 2018. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Katrina Williams.

Communication from the Commission: A Clean Planet for all

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, introduced the European Commission’s Communication “Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy”. It stressed the need to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, and that the EU was well placed to lead efforts to mitigate climate change.

All member states intervened, and all broadly supported the Commission’s communication. A number supported the Commission’s call for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The importance for businesses and citizens to inform the debate on reducing emissions and for the transition to be realistic was mentioned, as was the need for Europe to reduce its dependency on coal and invest in renewables. The importance of interconnection and the need to take account of energy security and competitiveness was raised. The importance of gas infrastructure was also mentioned.

In its intervention, the UK welcomed the communication and emphasised the urgency of addressing climate change. It pointed out that the UK Government had sought advice from the Committee on Climate Change on long-term targets. It also gave an overview of the action being taken to make the transition to a more flexible and smarter energy system.

Some member states considered nuclear energy to be an important option for decarbonisation, and called for technology neutrality. The UK said that it is important that member states are able to choose from all routes to decarbonisation.

Clean energy package

The presidency reported that it had reached agreement with the European Parliament on all elements of the clean energy package. It noted that the European Parliament and Council had now formally adopted the directive on renewable energy (recast), the regulation on governance of the energy union and the directive on energy efficiency (recast). Publication in the Official Journal was expected on 21 December 2018.

On the regulation on risk preparedness in the electricity sector, the presidency said that the regulation should give member states enough time to develop their plans for responding to risk. Regarding the regulation establishing a European Union Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators (recast), it thought the outcome would allow the agency to function efficiently.

The presidency informed Ministers that in the early hours of the 19 December it had closed the two most complicated files: the regulation on the internal market for electricity (recast) and the directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity (recast). It commented that the deal would allow the internal energy market to operate efficiently and that contracts awarded under capacity mechanisms will be subject to limits on ​emissions of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, consumers will be able to choose their suppliers freely, and request dynamic price contracts and smart meters.

The Commission, congratulating the presidency, noted that completion of the energy union was one of President Junker’s 10 legislative priorities.

Comments made by individual member states included recognition of the value of national energy and climate plans, but regret about the deal struck on limits on carbon dioxide emissions for contracts awarded under capacity mechanisms, and concern at the difficulties involved in opening up interconnector capacity and in meeting energy efficiency objectives.

Any other business items

The presidency informed the Council about the state of play on the revision of the gas directive. A number of member states, including the UK, called for faster progress and challenged the latest compromise proposals, but others expressed concern about proceeding with the revision.

The presidency updated Ministers on the connecting Europe facility negotiations, saying that it had secured a partial general approach at the Transport Council. It then provided an update on the hydrogen initiative.

The Commission provided an update on the status of marine energy and external energy relations. A number of member states supported the Commission’s calls for more action to make marine technology competitive.

There was a brief discussion on the appointment of the director general for the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Finally, the incoming Romanian presidency presented its work programme, stating its priorities to be formal agreement on the clean energy package, to make progress on the gas directive, the tyre labelling regulation and the mandate for changes to the energy community treaty.

Ministers had an informal discussion over lunch on energy security and external dimensions of energy policy.

Claire Perry – 2018 Statement on UNFCCC Conference of Parties

Below is the text of the statement made by Claire Perry, the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, in the House of Commons on 20 December 2018.

The 24th conference of the parties (COP24) to the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) took place in Katowice, Poland, from 2 to 15 December. I led the United Kingdom delegation, accompanied by the Minister for Asia and the Pacific, my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field), and the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk Coastal (Dr Coffey). As a demonstration of the UK’s action at all levels, the First Minister of Scotland and the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Environment also attended, as well as the Deputy Premier of the Government of the British Virgin Islands, representing the UK overseas territories.

The UK’s priorities for COP24 were to accelerate the global political momentum to combat climate change by i) securing a rulebook that would enable the historic Paris agreement to be effectively implemented: and ii) engaging in a constructive dialogue on ambition (the “Talanoa dialogue”) that would generate confidence and enhance action. In doing so, we were also determined to promote the UK’s global climate leadership.

COP24 was an important moment, representing the culmination of three years of negotiations and following shortly after the publication of a landmark scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that highlighted the severe consequences of failing to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

In the negotiations we succeeded in securing our main objectives by delivering an operational rulebook to drive genuine climate action, creating a level playing field, while allowing for flexibility and support for those countries that need it, in light of capacity. Inevitably there is still work to be done, particularly on carbon markets, but the overall picture is of a rulebook that enables the Paris agreement to be taken forward in practice, marking a move from negotiation to implementation.

The UK championed the latest climate science during COP. We played a central role in the progressive alliance of countries striving for a legal outcome that coupled robust rules with a call for more ambitious climate action—both through supporting the High Ambition Coalition’s Stepping Up Climate Ambition statement and through regularly convening the Cartagena dialogue of progressive countries.

Outside the negotiations, the UK had a visible presence at COP. We celebrated one year of the powering past coal alliance (PPCA) that was launched last year. The ​UK pavilion had over 50 events showcasing UK international support, domestic action, and low carbon expertise. We also made new domestic commitments, including the announcements of a clean growth grand challenge mission to establish one net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low carbon cluster by 2030. To kick-start this mission we will invest up to £170 million to develop and deploy low carbon technologies and enable infrastructure in one or more clusters, and we will also provide up to £66 million to develop new technologies and establish innovation centres to support the transformation of our foundation industries.

The UK reaffirmed our commitment to supporting climate action, highlighting recent announcements including an additional £100 million of UK climate finance for the renewable energy performance platform (REPP) to support 40 renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as £106 million for green construction and £60 million to build capacity to drive clean growth and emissions reductions in key developing countries.

We were also pleased to support Poland as COP presidency in their role, both through constructive engagement on negotiations and also in their three political declarations. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), signed the declaration on “just transition”, promoting efforts to ensure no workers or communities are left behind in the transition towards a low carbon future. The UK co-developed Poland’s declaration on e-mobility (building on our successful zero emission vehicle summit in Birmingham in September), and we also supported their declaration on forestry.

We now turn our attention to 2019 and beyond, including the UN Secretary General’s climate summit next September, which will be a vital step as countries look to raise their ambition ahead of 2020. COP26 in 2020 will be a pivotal moment to encourage and take stock of global ambition and prepare the ground for further action. It is for that reason that the UK expressed interest in hosting COP26, continuing to show our global leadership in climate action. However, we note the interest of other countries and will engage with them on this matter. Our priority is to ensure that the conference of the parties is a success.

Claire Perry – 2018 Speech on Gas

Below is the text of the article written by Claire Perry, the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, on 18 May 2018.

Developing our North Sea oil and gas has been a Great British success story.

Since the first wells started producing in the 1960s we have created a secure domestic energy supply, created thousands of high quality jobs, delivered billions to the economy and driven the growth of a huge engineering sector that we have exported to the world.

Even with the amazing improvements in North Sea production, volumes are declining and we are now importing almost half of our gas supplies.

Although we are in no way reliant on Russian gas despite what the Russians would have you believe.

Because gas is so important for our economy we know that we will need it for decades to come.

It also fits with our world-beating climate goals as it generates less CO2 than oil and coal.

That is why every estimate of our 2050 emissions reductions targets from the independent Climate Change Committee includes gas in our energy mix and why it is right to continue to look for gas that can be safely extracted from the potentially huge reserves hundreds of metres beneath our feet.

And there are other benefits too.

Shale gas extraction could provide a big clean growth boost for local communities as part of our modern Industrial Strategy – bringing thousands of high quality jobs, local investment and financial benefits to many parts of the country.

And our world-leading environmental regulations mean we could create even more investment and export opportunities from innovations like recycling waste water.

There are those who argue strongly against shale gas, using the most colourful and scaremongering language they can find and intimidating local communities and decision makers with lots of protesters from out of town.

In my experience, most of these arguments are made by people who actually just don’t want us to use gas at all – now or ever.

While we should all be hugely proud of our huge progress on renewables that delivers almost 30 percent of our electricity needs, we cannot meet our energy and heat needs now, or for many years to come, at a price we can afford, without using the gas that geography has gifted us.

That is why we committed to support the development of onshore British shale gas and to deliver a clean safe and affordable energy supply for the country.

It is why I have set out these changes to the planning and regulation regime to make sure there is support available for all involved in this process.

Claire Perry – 2018 Speech at Aurora Spring Forum

Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, on 20 March 2018.

It is wonderful to be back in Oxford, not only because of many happy memories, but also to be in a city that is central to so many energy breakthroughs.

In 1976 Professor Goodenough formed a research group from around the world to tackle the intractable problem of how to make batteries rechargeable.

And these great minds struggled, they even had to call out the fire brigade when experiments went wrong… But of course in 1980 they published their findings in Materials Research Bulletin.

The world took notice – the lithium ion battery changed the world, although it meant that officials could pester ministers at any time, day or night.

So many academic innovations have sprouted from this academic powerhouse, from nuclear fusion research at Culham to Professor Snaith’s new understandings of perovskites which could transform solar power.

And it is harnessing the value of this sort of world changing innovation that we want to see right across the UK, and particularly in the energy portfolio.

That’s why this government has set out the biggest ever increase in public research and development investment; three billion pounds more invested every year by 2021.

And it is that focus on innovation, research, development, commercialisation which underpins the Industrial Strategy.

Looking at how we invest in Britain’s historical straights to create the high-growth firms and well-paid jobs is essential to redress many of the imbalances of our economy, and make sure we are fit for the future. And our modern Industrial Strategy doesn’t just celebrate engineering developments, it celebrates ideas.

That’s why it’s so great to be hosted by Aurora today, a relatively new energy research company, trying to do things differently…

… and one that has already grabbed a leading position across Europe.

And that was one of the reasons we tapped into one of Aurora’s founding directors, to ask for his wisdom and his experience of the energy sector, to lead the Independent Cost of Energy Review.

This was commissioned as a no-holds barred look at how we deliver more affordable energy, to look at how we keep the lights on, while decarbonising, how we create innovation, and how we balance those relationships and those responsibilities between the public sector and the market.

The review has sparked a debate, a vibrant debate if I might say, about how we actually get to an energy market where active consumers, not producers, are central; where the pyramid of supply and distribution is turned upon its head; where we realise the potential of the investments we’ve been making now for many years in new clean energy technologies.

And where we implement ideas and spending according to a framework. One of the frameworks we’ve been using a lot in the Clean Growth Strategy which I authored last year, is the idea of a triple test that investment makes sense if it decarbonises, if you can see a cost trajectory so that means you don’t burden consumers with expensive innovations over the long term, and where you actually create and leverage a strategic innovation that means you can export that technology globally.

And since Dieter’s Review was published, we have also published the Industrial Strategy White Paper, which once again emphasised the importance of energy to our economic success.

And showed a reliable, affordable, and smart energy system provides the backbone for a stronger, fairer, and more productive society.

And how new technologies, AI, big data, EVs, autonomous vehicles are not just disruptive in their own sector but are also hugely disruptive to the energy sector as well.

And how creating the conditions for success for fair competition is so central to innovation.

And also how energy systems are central to the broader challenge of clean growth, 1 of the 4 Grand Challenge of the Industrial Strategy. An energy system that underpins, benefits from and accelerates the transformation of our economy.

And Dieter’s Review covered very eloquently many of these arguments. Much of his diagnosis is compelling, articulated brilliantly.

He talks about the disruptors that are coming along in this sector, the move from passive to active demand, more and more zero marginal low cost clean generation.

We are now buying at prices unimaginably low compared to just a few years ago. Access to cost-effective storage technologies that scale; linking in electric mobility into the grid.

Dieter says that these changes are happening regardless of what government does, whether we like it or not, this is the way the market is moving.

And so for me the job of government is to re-examine the bits that we do, the bits of the market that we are involved in, the frameworks, the policies, the regulation that we put in place, to make sure that they are fit for purpose.

That they encourage this innovation, they increase competition, and they don’t have unintended consequences down the road.

And I think if we manage these changes well, the historic tension between cost, CO2 and security becomes irrelevant.

It’s a little bit like the conversation we have for clean growth, where some had always imagined that a green future meant hunkering down in caves.

Recessions are really good for cutting carbon emissions, and there are still politicians out there who would rather like that to be the case.

But actually, if you look at what the UK has done when it has decarbonised more and grown faster than any other G7 nation since 1990, that these 2 things go hand in hand.

And it’s the same with the age-old energy trilemma.

And of course, if it’s the UK innovators who develop the technologies to achieve those goals, we reap those industrial and economic benefits, bringing home the benefits of the world’s pivot to this low-carbon future in a way that generates highly productive jobs and growth at home.

So Dieter’s Review brings that challenge to life, and without front-running the response to the consultation, I did want to dwell on three of his findings, not all 68 of them, don’t worry.

The first was the necessity for more active management of the system.

The huge increase in distributed generation, the opportunity for more demand-side response, and the potential for creating new demand for electric heating creates a requirement for a less passive local grid.

Grid management is hard enough in the current top-down system, the idea of having intermediates and end-states of supply and demand I think is incredibly challenging.

And so, Dieter’s proposal for the system of neutral regional systems operators is extremely interesting. And it’s part of the process that we’re already going through, which has already seen us create a much more independent systems operator role for National Grid.

Dieter’s review challenges us to consider whether and how we should go further. The network industry has come forward with initial proposals, which we’re looking at, many of them suitably ambitious.

But we will be working closely to ensure that these go beyond ‘business-as-usual’ and deliver the framework that we need to move us to this future. We have to get this right.

And secondly, Dieter’s eye-catching proposal for the equivalent firm power auction is worth dwelling on. When considering this, I am mindful that many of the tools are actually working well.

I know we’ve taken a fair share of criticism for how we got here, but if you look at what the tools are delivering, CfDs are delivering offshore wind at 57 pounds per MWh with every prospect of further reductions, and with an industry that is being created as part of that supply chain, right across the UK.

The Capacity Market is giving confidence to industry that there is no risk to supply at keener and keener prices. And of course the ‘Beast from the East’ tested the resilience of the systems right across Europe and the UK. I think there are lessons to be learned, but overall our gas and electricity systems proved robust and responsive.

The market frameworks we had in place provided National Grid with the tools they needed.

Dieter’s challenge is how do we evolve today’s arrangements, so they can adapt to this pace of change and achieve this end-state that we want to see going forward.

And the Capacity Market is obviously a key part of that evolution.

So later this year, we will be conducting a formal review to mark 5 years since this introduction, asking some key questions:

Have we got the penalty regime right? Are the outcomes of the market aligned, not just with the security of the energy system, but with the triple test I described, and the ambition we have in the Industrial Strategy?

Should it be open to new technologies, like renewables as we are seeing in Ireland? How do we include battery technology into this mix? How do we work with demand-side response and small-scale gas installations, which have already confounded prior expectations?

Understanding and answering these questions will help simplify the system in line with Dieter’s recommendations, whilst maintaining robust energy security and delivering on our triple test.

But as we consider these changes, we have to create market structures and regulation that continue to make the UK one of the leading destinations for energy investment.

I think that clarity of regulatory structure and confidence in the system are a hugely important part of that. As we look to the future, I think it’s worth reflecting on the work that we’re doing now to ensure well-regulated, competitive markets deliver value and service for customers. That markets work for customers in a way that consumers perceive industry they should.

We’ve seen huge improvements in the efficiency of our home energy system, thanks to the smart regulation insulation measures.

I’ve given lie to the argument that all this stuff we do, the investing in the future of energy, is somehow putting up prices.

Whilst we’ve seen a policy price increase, bills have gone down in the average household because of excellent improvements in energy efficiency, and as we made clear in the Clean Growth Strategy.

We want to build on that success. I’ll be reviewing the ECO obligation very shortly, which I want to pivot as much as possible to helping those living in fuel poverty, making sure that it provides a much better route to market for innovation technology in the home efficiency space.

We’re regulating so that landlords have to ensure the homes they let are cheaper to run.

We’ve exempted many of our energy-efficient industries from many of the levies that we have brought forward. And we’ve also taken tough decisions in 2015 to cut subsidies while focusing resources on strategically important sectors like offshore wind and nuclear.

And just this month you may have seen that I brought forward the Price Cap Legislation, with very strong cross-party support.

This is not an attempt to set energy prices in Westminster.

This is an attempt to help the market speed up its evolution to a more competitive marketplace.

We have a problem in this market as in so many others, which is asymmetry of customer information: a group of highly enabled, digitally-savvy consumers who are able to take advantage of switching deals that are on offer given the new entrance on the market, and then a much larger group of those who are not as aware or as able to take advantage of those opportunities and worryingly tend to be older, less wealthy, less educated, often more vulnerable.

And we know that the market is working hard with its regulator to address many of those problems… But we want to make sure that that acceleration continues. That’s why we’re bringing forward a time-limited, intelligent intervention in the market to help reset this market to ensure it works for consumers.

And it’s part of a huge package of work that is coming forward:

smart meter roll-out

faster switching

half-hourly settlements

midata portability

Together this will mean that switching will be almost instantaneous and extremely easy to do. Dieter has made clear proposals in this area about what the cap should include. It is quite rightly being developed by Ofgem and I’m sure they will be listening carefully to Dieter’s recommendations when they bring forward the cap.

That cap will be in place by the end of this year.

Dieter’s review also makes absolutely clear that government has an important role to play in new nuclear. Dieter calls it a societal choice, as to whether to invest in nuclear.

But for us, it’s more than that. For us, nuclear has a crucial role to play in creating a diverse, reliable energy supply that reduces our CO2 emissions, creates a cost trajectory that we can see going forward and contributes enormously to the Industrial Strategy, to the creation of exportable innovation and capability.

I have no doubt that nuclear is a vital part of the mix both in the UK and for the global community to meet its Paris commitments.

It is also a sector that can deliver innovation, growth, and high-quality jobs for the economy.

But to get these benefits, we have to get costs down.

And this is a joint partnership between government and industry.

For me it’s about innovation. It’s about understanding how new technologies techniques, whether it’s digitisation, modular manufacturing, whatever it is, can help simplify and standardise the nuclear new-build process, and potentially find new markets for that technology.

I’m extremely mindful of the role of government in supporting new nuclear…

We’re studying the results of the NAO report carefully.

If we can get this right, we can maintain our position at the forefront of nuclear innovation. That, for me, is an example of the Clean Growth Grand Challenge in action.

But whether it’s nuclear, or the rest of the energy supply, we have got to think hard about the policy and regulatory changes that we bring forward and be mindful of the unintended consequences that can happen, not just currently, but over a decent period of time going forward.

The government’s ambition is for the UK to have the lowest energy cost in Europe for both households and businesses, whilst delivering on our CO2 targets and ensuring security of supply. We don’t know how markets will look in 50 years’ time.

There are so many disruptive technologies out there, from digitalisation, AI, the continued galloping fall in the cost of clean technology.

For me, this is the most exciting moment in the energy industry in the UK since privatisation, and this change will only accelerate going forward.

More renewables, coal getting off the system by 2025, increasing amounts of distributed energy, more storage, more demand-side, more local generation; again inverting this pyramid, from passive consumers and the top-down approach, to energy moving up and down the system.

And that’s before we confront the challenge that a more electrified heating system may place on the system. If you look at the Clean Growth Strategy, we’re looking at what hydrogen pathway looks like, what increased electrifications looks like; there are radical changes coming forward that will hugely impact the investment decisions we take.

And for me, central planning of anything, whether it’s of an economy or an energy system, means taking often poor choices for short-term ends, and stifling innovation.

The way to get beyond that is to put the consumer, not the producer, at the heart of energy policy.

Firms who create value for consumers – whether they’re large energy-intensive industries, or little old ladies paying on standard variable tariffs – the firms that create the value and deliver the service for those consumers, not the firms which are best at lobbying government, are the ones that are most rewarded by investment and by market share.

A system where market participants who innovate and can reduce both costs and emissions over time, thrive. That is the challenge we all face, whether it is government, regulators or indeed incumbents. That is the market that we want to see coming forward.

If we get it right, the astounding opportunities that are out there, both in solving our own energy problems and solving the energy problems of the world are just immense.

Helping the world’s poorest countries never build a coal-fired power station, but moving straight to a distributed, renewable policy, using some of our climate finance to make that happen.

If we can unlock that future, then the opportunities for UK-based innovation, economic growth and job creation are absolutely immense.

And again, I pivot back to the Industrial Strategy.

The people in the room will know about the Faraday challenge, the first beneficiary of one of the major investments to come out of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund…

Investing where we have a comparative advantage in technology, where we have an industry working from a position of strength,

… we already manufacture 1 in 5 of the electric vehicles sold in in Europe,

… overflowing any benefit into the renewables industry where distributed storage is what will unlock possibilities going forward

… and bringing it all together in a public- private way that drives jobs and growth and innovation and ultimately productivity.

And so, this ambition of a clean low cost innovative energy supply that works for customers, creates strong supply chains, really is built on incredible innovation and knowledge and development, just like we saw in Professor Goodenough’s lab.

That is the prize that is out there for us.

And ultimately, we want to seize that opportunity, create those long-term commercial advantages in the UK, but make sure that when we commercialise and bring them to market, that IP is also kept in the UK and contributes to our economy going forward.

Thank you very much.

Claire Perry – 2018 Speech on Climate Change

Below is the text of the article written by Claire Perry, the Energy and Clean Growth Minister, on 20 February 2018.

Cast your mind back 13 years to 2005. The world was a very different place. The phrase ‘climate change’ was not exactly a buzzword and yet an extraordinary moment occurred. A groundswell of momentum across the globe brought the Kyoto Protocol into force, a pivotal agreement committing more countries than ever to internationally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week the impact of climate change on sports was in the headlines. Climate change affects us all – and if it takes melting ski slopes and waterlogged cricket pitches to get people’s attention, then so be it.

Momentum on climate action is accelerating with the UK in the driving seat. Climate change is no longer just a phrase used by environmentalists and scientists, it forms part of our everyday narrative. This is the moment not only for global efforts to reduce our CO2 output, but also for the growth of green industries and for international climate collaboration.

Climate change crosses party political lines and doesn’t respect borders. That cross-party support for climate action and UK leadership was demonstrated in 2008 with the introduction of the historic Climate Change Act, setting an ambitious legally-binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

But it was the Kyoto Protocol that truly kickstarted international action in 2005. When world leaders signed up to the charter, it signalled a sea change. Left unchecked, climate change would ravage our natural environment and, along with it, our health and prosperity.

Fast forward 10 years and in 2015 the UK was instrumental in securing the Paris Agreement, committing 175 countries to protect the world from catastrophic warming.

Three years ago in Paris, the UK and other developed countries committed a joint contribution of $100 billion to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world cope with the increasing risk of droughts and floods and provide access to clean energy. We should be proud that the UK is regarded so highly for its climate action overseas as well as at home.

I’m proud that we have got our own house in order. In 2011, the government slashed emissions from 3,000 buildings across Whitehall by nearly 14% in a single year.

It is not only a moral imperative that we leave the world in a better place for future generations, there is an economic argument for tackling climate change. The UK has shown that reducing emissions and growing the economy can, and should, go hand in hand. Since 1990 our national carbon emissions have fallen even more and our national income has risen faster than any other nation in the G7.

The shift to clean energy presents a multibillion-pound investment opportunity for businesses. Our low-carbon sector already directly employs more than 200,000 people. We are clear: through our ambitious industrial strategy the UK is ready to embrace the economic opportunities presented by the transition to a low-carbon economy.

And there’s more good news. Latest figures indicate that more than half of our electricity generation in 2017 came from low-carbon sources such as wind, nuclear and solar. Just 5 years ago, dirty coal power accounted for 40% of our electricity – this figure is now 7%. The government has driven this change, investing more than £52 billion in renewable energy since 2010 and committing to phasing out unabated coal power by 2025. We now have the biggest installed offshore wind capacity in the world, and the cost of offshore wind is constantly falling thanks to government support.

On the international stage the UK is leading the charge for clean, green energy. In November the Canadian environment minister, Catherine McKenna, and I launched the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global coalition of countries, businesses and cities committed to ending unabated coal power. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, emitting twice as much CO2 as gas per unit of electricity generated. Phasing out coal will not only reduce pollution and carbon emissions, it will improve our health.

Our action at home and abroad is delivering real results and we are on track to meet or over-deliver against our first 3 carbon budgets. We have come a long way in the last 13 years, but we cannot step off the pedal now. Ambitious climate action must continue, with the UK leading the way to a low-carbon future.

Claire Perry – 2018 Speech on Energy Innovation Investment

Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Energy and Clean Growth Minister, on 25 January 2018.

Since I last spoke to you, just starting out at the department in June, a great deal has changed, and we have made real progress towards the goal of an economy built around clean growth.

We launched the Clean Growth Strategy in October, discussing carbon budgets and the gap that has opened over time, we are now estimating that we are just a couple of percentage points off our 4th and 5th budgets, which end in 10-15 years time. Given the pace of change, and the work in R&D and the help of so many of our innovators, I am confident that those gaps will be closed.

And the following month we published the white paper of our modern Industrial Strategy, which works to link up what we are doing in government, with what we would like to see industry doing, and change the game, to make the conversation between government and industry to drive productivity gains. You will see in there some of the highlights of sector deals and examples of how we will work together going forward. Also included are four big Grand Challenges, things that we know we have to do both to solve our own economic transitional challenges, but also to grow and prosper in a global economy, and one of those challenges is the Grand Challenge of Clean Growth. What is exciting about the past few months is that not only have we put forward 15 policies of how we will get our own carbon budgets, we’ve put that firmly in front of the way in which we want business and government to work together. And this is probably the first time that clean growth and technology has been prioritised as a challenge and opportunity right across government. It is important for clean tech and growth to have a voice at the cabinet table because so much we do works right across government.

What has also struck me, taking on this portfolio, is that we have focused on delivering on our low carbon budget targets and being one of the first countries to pass our climate change act but we have been a bit shy to celebrate this.

Since 1990 we have led the G7 group, in cutting emissions in our economy, without sacrificing growth, in fact we have had the fastest growing economy in the G7 over that time. Last year, the PWC report said there were only two countries in the world that were doing enough in terms of decarbonisation to meet the 2 degree global target, and that was China and the United Kingdom so we have been rather shy to celebrate what we have achieved.

There is a triple test for anything that we do in the green tech space. Does it reduce carbon emissions? Can we see a cost effective pathway for deployment so that we are not overburdening consumers? And does it create a competitive advantage that we can effectively invest in and grow in the UK so that we can be part of this global shift to green technology?

By setting out what we’ve done and setting out our progress and great successes to date, we have created a much stronger environment for business investment. And for investment in different forms of local technologies.

I was also struck by successes in renewable energy in the UK, I think it is a strength that the UK has chosen to have a diverse energy mix. There is a role for nuclear at the right cost going forward, we will continue to investigate the scientific truisms of fracking, does it make sense to frack, does it deliver what we want, can it be done in the right way?

We have also done a lot to bring on the renewables portfolio, buying offshore wind at unimaginably low prices. Building the largest installed offshore wind base in the world and we want to replicate that across the economy, taking the partnership between government and business setting out early stage investment, using tax payer’s money, co-investing with the private sector, using auction mechanisms to drive costs down and continuing to commit to those technologies moving forward.

So this momentum needs to translate into long term commitments. That is why we were clear in our Clean Growth Strategy about our big R&D investment, hopefully to show that government is making the largest investment of public funds ever into R&D and £2.5 billion of that will do into clean tech.

Whether it is through the transport sector, through the Faraday Challenge where we want to lead the world in the creation of the next generation of battery technology and use that technology to support what we need in terms of better storage and renewable energy generation.

We must use these opportunities is to create opportunities with other countries to deliver maximum take up of new technologies, and make them low cost. We want to work with other countries to work together, to drive down costs and create productivity in the UK. Global appetite is huge, in spite of the US pulling out of Paris, all the other countries have worked hard to continue to deliver on the Paris commitments. There is an unstoppable force happening in the world which is a global effort to reduce emissions output and a global effort to collaborate and cooperate in solving some of these low carbon problem solving technologies. We talk a lot to our friends in Norway and removing hydrocarbons from the north sea basin it seems obvious we should work together on carbon capture storage.

UK-Republic of Korea Smart Energy Innovation Partnership

It is my pleasure to have Ambassador Hwang joining me today to announce an agreement of £3 million to support a bilateral innovation programme, with just over £3 million in matched funding from the Republic of Korea. This exciting programme will support development and demonstration projects on innovative smart energy technologies and business models, each one involving companies from both the UK and Republic of Korea. Our countries are natural allies in this – we have similar population sizes spread across similarly-sized countries, and we are at similar stages in our development and deployment of smart systems, including the rollout of smart meters.

Both countries are members of the Mission Innovation Smart Grids Challenge, and actively support innovation in smart energy technologies like storage and demand-side response, accelerating clean energy innovation around the world. As well as learning from one another, we can develop new approaches and, potentially, new technologies together. And we can decarbonise our countries together as a result of this cooperation.

This partnership will have tangible benefits, including reduced costs for designing and implementing smart systems and technologies. For the UK we can expect accelerated adoption of smart, flexible energy systems, which will save money by reducing deployment time, while our understanding of, and access to, Korean markets will increase, presenting great opportunities for UK businesses. We expect similar acceleration in Korea, again leading to savings, while Korean businesses and policy makers can gain experience of the British system, from regulation to incentives.

Developing a new platform

Where government can help we will use all the tools at our disposal to support clean growth and low carbon innovation in our economy, including market design, taxation and regulation, as well as the funding of £2.5 billion we are providing. But as ever it will be industry which leads the way.

After the last event in June, I asked what more we could do to help the companies we have been supporting to get to market and that’s why today I am delighted to announce the first stage in the development of a new GOV.UK portfolio list bringing together all of the companies we have invested in since 2012. It’s a great first step in terms of showcasing what we are doing and how government is investing.

This is part of the commitment, made in our Industrial Strategy, to promote overseas investment into the UK’s clean economy, and strengthen our support for UK exporters. It will also be a showcase for our clean tech investments at home and abroad.

The first iteration of the platform will exist in the GOV.UK energy innovation pages and will include a trial version of the database, providing detailed information on the innovation projects and organisations which have benefitted from government funding since April 2012. This will bring greater transparency to the actions of government, but also highlighting the support on offer, and the types of projects which we in government want to encourage. Ceres Power and Anvil Semiconductors are two such companies, and I am pleased to see them here today.

Through this platform, we want to engage with investors interested in UK businesses and the level of R&D support available; with UK businesses looking for partnerships and export opportunities; and with colleagues abroad looking for international opportunities. This is just the first stage, and we are inviting feedback from all users – including you, I hope – on how we can expand and perfect the information we provide in time for launching the final site at our Green Britain Week, an annual event that we will be launching to happen every October, where we will be showcasing progress we have made and challenges we need to focus on. I look forward to that, and to hearing your thoughts.

Ultimately I am here to say thank you, because we can set the mission, the laws that hold our collective parliamentary feet to the fire, when it comes to carbon reduction, we can say the right things in terms of productivity and improvements, but ultimately it comes down to where is the technical excellence, where is the investment, how can we best work together, in solving the challenges that we face and to me it is exciting that clean growth is at the forefront of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

The opportunity it gives with the unstoppable momentum that the globe is on towards a low carbon future is absolutely huge and I feel privileged to have a chance to work on this portfolio and to meet so many people who are working together on this journey.

Claire Perry – 2017 Speech at Launch of the Clean Growth Strategy

Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, on 12 October 2017.

Good morning all.

It is such a pleasure to be here today to launch our new Clean Growth Strategy. Not only because I am required to, under the Climate Change Act.

But also because I am genuinely proud of what we have achieved so far in the United Kingdom and incredibly excited about the huge opportunities for us ahead.

You may wonder why we have asked you to come to this iconic venue, scene of so much national success, this morning.

Well there are two reasons.

The first is because we are benefiting in this building from one of the UK’s biggest low-carbon combined heating, cooling and power facilities – brilliant technology that we want to see deployed much more widely.

And the second reason is… well you will have to wait for that.

Before I begin to detail all the steps we are taking, I want to thank a few people.

First, I want to thank my Secretary of State Greg Clark for his longstanding commitment to action on climate change.

From his time as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change before the 2010 election, to his work across government, he has continued to champion the urgent need to cut emissions and seize the opportunity of clean growth and he deserves a huge amount of credit for this Strategy.

Second, I want to thank Nick Hurd, my predecessor in the department.

Nick put a massive effort into developing the policies in this plan, and I was really delighted I could take the baton from him [not just to steal all the glory] but because when I took on the Strategy, he had got it to a great place.

Thanks also to my amazing team at BEIS who have been working so hard for so long to put this Strategy together.

I also want to thank the Committee on Climate Change and their tireless chairman, Lord Deben.

You don’t realise until you sit in this ministerial chair, what a brilliant piece of legislation the Climate Change Act has proved to be, holding our feet to the fire as we consider every policy choice and empowering the Committee to keep us moving forward despite the short term political cycle.

Finally, I also want to thank all of you here today for your work cajoling, prodding, challenging, sometimes praising and, yes, criticising what we do.

We are not going to tackle the risks of climate change, nor grasp the opportunities of doing so unless we work together and I thank you for your commitment to this most important of issues.

You will know the gestation of our Clean Growth Strategy has been long, at times difficult and sometimes frustrating.

But we finally have a Strategy that is ambitious, broad and binding…

Sets out clear targets….

Harnesses the power of national innovation….

And re-affirms this government’s commitment to lead the way to a low carbon future.

So, today, in launching the Clean Growth Strategy I want to focus on three things:

First, to celebrate the extraordinary success the United Kingdom has achieved in delivering clean growth over the past two decades…

Second, as Greg said, to underline the enormous industrial opportunity for us that is emerging from the global transition to a low carbon economy – and how it will benefit us right across the UK.

And third to set out why this Clean Growth Strategy is distinctive and how it helps us meet the challenges we face.

As I said to start, the reason we are all here is the 2008 Climate Change Act, which had cross-party support and was a totemic piece of legislation. Because of that legislation we have to set out our strategy to meet the upcoming carbon budgets.

But we are also here because we want to be.

As the Prime Minister said in her foreword to our new strategy: “Clean growth is not an option, but a duty we owe to the next generation.”

And I think the UK should be very proud of our record in fulfilling that duty.

We were one of the first countries to recognise both the economic and security threats posed by rising sea levels and rising high temperatures.

And we have followed the guidance provided by that scientific understanding with action.

As Greg said, since 1990, we have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while our economy has grown by two thirds over that time.

On a per person basis, this means that we have reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation.

And not by sacrificing growth and competitiveness – we have led the G7 group in growth in national income over that period.

Let me just repeat that – we lead the G7 group of countries in cutting our emissions and growing our economy

Proving as false the view that we couldn’t protect the planet and raise prosperity at the same time.

Our world-first 2008 Climate Change Act set the pace for change, committing us to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least eighty per cent by 2050.

And I’m pleased to tell you we are on track.

We over-performed against our first carbon budget, and are on track to do the same for the second and third. This is a fantastic achievement.

Our action at home is matched by our ambition to see action across the world.

This saw us playing a leading role in securing the agreement of 195 countries to sign up to the now historic Paris Climate Agreement…

It commits us to being among the largest contributors of international climate finance.

And it means that from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, downwards we continue to work across the world to ensure the Paris agreement and climate action are delivered and at the forefront of international action – UK leadership that has never been more needed than now.

I know many of you in this room are responsible for this incredible success.

A success which I don’t think we celebrate enough.

Well I promise to keep talking about it and to champion it on your behalf at every opportunity, home and abroad.

The commitments made by 195 countries in Paris also present an unparalleled economic opportunity.

We are seeing the start of a global shift toward clean solutions…

Low carbon ways to get from A to B…

…power and heat produced in way that helps the planet and helps people struggling with their bills…

…and heavy industry going carbon-light.

This shift offers UK businesses and innovators huge potential to shape the future of clean growth.

Because part of the reason why the UK is considered a leader in tackling climate change, is that we don’t just see it as a problem to be solved…

We see it is an opportunity, too.

So, by focusing on clean growth, we are presented with a win-win situation…

We can cut the cost of energy…

Drive economic growth…

Create high value jobs right across the UK…

And improve our quality of life.

This is precisely what our Clean Growth Strategy is about.

You will see a list of 50 major policies and plans in the Strategy Document today, with many supporting ones in the text behind them, and when implemented there will be real change

To give you just a few examples:

For businesses, the largest pool of contributors to emissions, we will help them improve how they use their energy, aiming to increase their energy productivity by at least twenty per cent by 2030, saving businesses £6 billion…

…we will establish an industrial energy efficiency scheme to help large companies cut their bills…

…and we will demonstrate international leadership in carbon capture, usage and storage, that we need to decarbonise and improve how we do business, including substantial new investment in leading edge innovation.

Our strategy will make a positive change to how we live.

We will make it easier for homeowners to make home improvements that can reduce their energy use…

…we will invest around £3.6 billion to upgrade around a million homes through the Energy Company Obligation by 2020, and extend that support to 2028…

…we will continue to support RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive)…

… we will work towards our aspiration that every home in the country will be rated Energy Performance Certificate as Band C by 2035…

And we will aim to upgrade as many private rented homes as possible where practical and affordable – helping many of those living in severe fuel poverty.

And, our Clean Growth Strategy will change the way we travel and make our air cleaner.

We have already said and reconfirm today we will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040…

…it will invest £1 billion supporting the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles, including helping consumers to overcome the upfront cost of an electric car…

…and we will make sure that those cars are powered by developing one of the best electric vehicle charging networks in the world.

Indeed you may have seen the hydrogen bus outside and we will continue to support different types of low carbon transport.

I get asked all the time – so what’s the magic bullet today?

And my answer is – we don’t have one. There is no one lever we can pull.

Instead we go through every major part of our economy and every part of government to set out ways to cut the emissions and drive innovation

Whether that’s investing in research and innovation for energy efficiency…

Or building new heat networks across the country to drive down the cost of keeping homes warm…

Whatever it takes, we are determined to make a difference.

And any set of actions that hopes to combat climate change has to cover all parts of the economy

And be focused on the next few decades, not the next few years, that is why the Clean Growth Strategy is a Strategy.

It has far-reaching goals and priorities, and sets the scene for other long-term plans government will be bringing forward like the upcoming 25 year plan from my colleagues at DEFRA, the DfT’s Road to Zero and our Industrial Strategy and its Sector Deals.

Our message is clear: this needs to be a priority for our government and the country for the years ahead, for future generations and not just us today.

And now is the right time to make these decisions because the benefits are huge.

The most recent research shows that the UK’s low carbon economy could grow over 10 to 12 per cent per year up to 2030 – four times faster than the growth of the UK economy as a whole.

By that estimate that would mean – in just 13 years – the UK’s low carbon economy would support up to 2 million more jobs and export up to £170bn low carbon goods and services each year.

And I’m not just talking about jobs in London and the South East…

This impact will be felt all over the country. We’ve already seen this happen, whether it’s the Siemens wind turbine blade factory in Hull or Nissan confirming that their Leaf electric car will be produced in Sunderland.

Like I said: a win-win situation right across the country, one that we are exploiting.

You may ask: what is different about this plan?

Well, it focuses areas of action where we get clear joint benefits:

cleaner air from low emissions vehicles…

…lower energy bills from improved energy efficiency…

… reducing waste and using resources efficiently…

…and creating a more biodiverse, resilient natural environment.

It is also a true cross-government approach – with real actions from buildings to transport, and from the natural environment to power generation.

And at the heart of our Strategy is a targeted focus on innovation.

Because I fundamentally believe that it is only through innovation that we can bring down the costs of low carbon technologies.

We want low carbon to mean low cost.

Because we need low cost to protect our businesses and households from high costs, including energy costs.

But – just as important – if we can develop the low cost, low carbon technologies here, we can capture the industrial and economic advantage from the global transition we are starting to see.

Finally, if we want to see other countries, particularly developing countries, follow our lead, we need low carbon technologies to be cheap.

So we have a new triple test to help us decide how to support new technologies:

First, does this deliver maximum carbon emission reduction?

Second, can we see a clear cost reduction pathway for this technology, so we can deliver low cost solutions?

And third, can the UK develop world-leading technology in a sizeable global market?

Of course, we can’t predict every technological breakthrough – if we’d have done that a few years ago, we would have been wrong – and not all of the choices we make will be the right ones.

That is the nature of working with such fast moving technologies.

But we are determined to create the best possible ecosystem for the private sector to invest and innovate.

If we get it right, we can see the benefits, just as we have on offshore wind, and the remarkable cost reduction we have seen where the costs have plummeted 50 percent in just two years.

And we have installed the biggest offshore wind base in the world.

To achieve these sorts of wins going forward and deliver the clean growth we need, it will require everyone to play their part.

This is not a job for central government alone.

It is a job for our devolved nations, local authorities, businesses and civil society working together; ambition and drive from every part of society and government is as important as diktats from Whitehall.

That is why we are delighted to celebrate in our document some of the amazing work that is taking place across the country.

And it is why we are setting up an annual ‘Green Great Britain’ Week, to celebrate the progress we have made, showcase UK technology and leadership, and inspire and motivate us to keep going, no matter the challenges, to deliver low carbon technology.

To meet our goals, we are going to need the full ingenuity, enterprise and determination of the British people working together.

So that answers the second question as to why we are here today.

Because we want to capture the spirit of cooperation and enterprise that gave us such an amazing performance at the 2012 Olympics from Team GB…

And use it to deliver a Green GB…

There won’t be medals on offer…

But the prize for all of us will be driving and capturing the benefits and opportunities for Britain and the world of our low carbon future.

I think that’s a race we all want to win.

Thank you.

Claire Perry – 2016 Speech on Sustainable Railways


Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, in London on 18 May 2016.


Good morning.

This morning I want to address a subject that perhaps isn’t currently receiving the attention it deserves.

And that is the subject of sustainability.

In recent years, we’ve talked a lot about investment, capacity and connectivity.

And rightly so – there’s a huge amount happening in rail under each of those themes.

But I believe our job to revitalise Britain’s railways isn’t finished until have a railway that is not just high-capacity and well-connected, but a railway that is also sustainable.

So I want to set out what I take sustainability to mean in the context of rail, and why it is important.

What is sustainability?

First, then – what is a sustainable railway?

To my mind, the answer is clear.

It’s a railway that is fit for the future.

One that helps solve the environmental challenges we face, rather than contributing to them

It’s a railway that is properly connected to the communities it serve

And it’s a railway that has invested in the workforce it needs for the decades ahead.

A railway meeting environmental challenges

So, first, let me talk about how our railway can best meet the environmental challenges we face.

When I speak to my rail counterparts, from everywhere from Canada to Egypt to Taiwan, they talk about environmental sustainability as the driving reason for their investment in rail.

They see railways as a way of tackling congestion and improving our air quality.

But in this country, talking in those terms is less common.

That’s a real missed opportunity, because there’s so much for us to be proud about.

We are one of the greenest transport modes, and we are getting greener.

Right now we are on target to reduce per-passenger kilometre carbon emissions by 37% between 2014 and 2019.

We need to talk about these successes more.

But our words must be matched with continuing activity.


Let’s carry on making our new trains ever-lighter and more efficient.

The new class 700 trains for Thameslink, for example, will be 20% lighter than the existing fleet and will use a third less energy.

And I don’t agree with those who say that because some stretches of our rail network are not currently being electrified, we will never have a rail network without diesel trains.

I can see a future in which all-electric trains can run on non-electrified track by switching to battery power.

Last year my department sponsored the trial of a battery powered Class 379 train in Essex.

We demonstrated that battery technology is able to power a train reliably.

Yes, we need the range to improve.

But longer-lasting batteries are the holy grail of industry the world over, so the technology will mature sooner than we expect.

And I am working with colleagues in DECC to see how government investment in battery storage solutions for renewable energy can be applied to improving battery train ranges.

Sustainable stations

Our stations, too, can make their contribution to sustainability.

Take Blackfriars.

It’s a stunning symbol of a modern railway.

But too-few people know that it is also a sustainable structure.

Blackfriars’s roof’s 23 tennis-courts-worth of solar panels provide up to 50% of the station’s energy; enough to heat 80,000 cups of tea a day.

Very few buildings have expanses of roof like our stations do, and they are often perfect for installing solar panels.

Imagine if all our stations used their roofs in this way.


I believe there’s a real opportunity for rail freight to contribute to sustainability, too.

One of the greatest challenges of our age is the emission of particulate matter from vehicles.

This is not just a problem for future generations or far-away places.

Particulates are here now, on our streets, already shortening lives.

And one of the key contributors is road freight and the need to bring goods from out-of-town distribution centres into city centres.

Yet our rail lines already reach into stations located in the heart of the city.

Imagine if we could run electric freight trains into stations outside peak hours.

Or run passenger trains that can be partly converted to carry freight.

Goods could be offloaded onto electric vehicles, for distribution across the city.

Lets set ourselves the challenge of investing in new freight technology and joined up logistics.

Launch of RSSB Sustainability Principles

These are just a few ideas for creating a railway that meets our environmental challenges, rather than contributing to them.

If we are to achieve our sustainability goals, we need to design them into policies, procurement and operations right from the start.

So today I am delighted to launch the Rail Safety and Standards Board’s Sustainable Development Principles 2016.

The previous edition set the standard for the industry.

We recently started including the principles in franchise competitions, where they have prompted bidders to increase energy efficiency of stations and trains and to reduce waste.

But we want to take these refreshed principles further.

From now on, they will form an important part of all future rail franchises.

And in doing so they should have an effect throughout the whole industry.

Railway connected to communities

Now, the major change to the principles, is that they include an aspiration for rail to have a positive social impact, focussing on engaging with local communities in making plans, and in deciding how local assets are to be used.

And that brings me to my second point.

A sustainable railway is one that is connected to the community it serves.

After all, a railway is not a closed system.

It’s rooted in neighbourhoods, and part of the fabric of local life.

Everyone has a stake in the success of our railways.

And the railway has a stake in so many local communities.

It’s a reciprocal relationship that I want the industry to take seriously.

Station assets used by the community

In many places, it’s already happening.

A once-disused waiting room at Great Malvern Station is now a shop selling craft made by people with learning disabilities.

And I have been really pleased by the way that, under the terms of the Northern franchise, we have agreed that disused railway assets should become community centres.

There are underused railway buildings like this in towns, cities and villages all over the country, and it would be great for more of them to put to use for local benefit.

Community railways

I’m also a big fan of community railways.

Across the county, thousands of volunteers are together giving 250,000 hours a year in support of their local railway lines.

In March we launched a competition for ideas to make it easier for tourists to use heritage and community railways.

These railways reach into parts of the country that tourists often miss.

So last week we held a Dragons’-Den-style pitching event.

We got some great ideas and will be announcing the winners soon.

By putting our railways in the service of local life in these ways, we are gaining support for the railway even from the people who don’t currently use it.

And a widely-supported railway is a sustainable railway.

Sustainability of rail workforce

But my final theme today is about the rail workforce.

I make no apologies for returning to a theme that I know will be familiar to many.

A sustainable railway needs a sustainable workforce.

But, today, parts of the rail industry are set to lose half their staff to retirement within 15 years.

That’s unsustainable, but so too is the idea that we can run a railway with a workforce that looks nothing like the public it serves.

In particular, we need more women working in rail.

Women make up 51% of the population.

47% of the national workforce.

But only 16% of the rail workforce, and a shockingly low 5% of train drivers.

Crossrail has shown what women can do if they are brought into the industry.

Of those who have undertaken work experience on Crossrail, over a fifth are women.

Of those taking part in Crossrail’s graduate programme, many of whom will go on to be the future leaders of the industry, women make up almost a quarter.

And in total, of the 10,000 people working on Crossrail, nearly one third are women.

The result is clear.

Crossrail is on time.

On budget.

We are the proven world-leaders in urban and soft-ground tunnelling.

And there it seems there’s barely a dignitary or minister in Europe who hasn’t donned an orange jacket to marvel at Crossrail’s incredible underground structures.

That’s what a sustainable workforce can achieve.

And it’s a model for the rest of the industry to follow.


And so I hope that will spark some debate.

We need to build a railway that is sustainable.

A railway that works for the people it serves.

And a railway that looks like the people it serves.

Thank you.

Claire Perry – 2016 Speech on Train Tickets


Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, at the Transport Ticketing and Passenger Information Conference 2016, Old Billingsgate Market, London on 26 January 2016.


Good morning.

I jumped at the chance to speak today (26 January 2016) at the seventh Transport Ticketing and Passenger Information Conference. Because although transport ticketing has come a long way in 7 years, the impressive technology on display here today shows how much more can be delivered. And I think we are at a tipping point of improvement and innovation, where government can help but private transport operators can drive forward and deliver the changes.

So this morning I would like to give you a refreshed government perspective on transport ticketing. To set out what has already been achieved. But also to set out a direction of travel for the future.

How far we have come

The great news from recent years is just how far smart ticketing has spread outside London.

While London still leads in the number of journeys made using smart tickets, the regions are catching up.

Britain’s 5 biggest bus operators have just announced their plan to introduce contactless payments on all their 32,000 buses operating outside London by 2022. And next month, customers with a smart card registered account travelling on Essex’s C2C rail services who suffer a delayed journey, even for only a few minutes, will receive compensation automatically.

While rail customers in the Midlands and the north can now download tickets directly to their mobile phones and have them scanned on-board and at the station gatelines. I saw the system in action last July and was really impressed — a simple and quick digital ticketing system planned and introduced by the rail industry working together. It’s fitting that the north of England, the birthplace of the modern railway and a place where the first Edmondson railway ticket was issued is once again pioneering the future of ticketing.

That pioneering spirit is one reason why in the Spending Review we committed £150 million to support Transport for the North — a new partnership of the northern city authorities, government and national transport agencies who are together working on a plan to bring a single smart ticketing and travel information system to the north of England, making travel by rail, bus, Metro and tram as simple and convenient as possible.

Making rail journeys better

So there’s a huge amount happening across all forms of transport.

But as Rail Minister, my primary focus is on making rail journeys better. It’s no easy responsibility.

For decades, successive governments have failed to spend the amount of money needed to support the demands we are placing on our railway network. Since privatisation, passenger journeys have more than doubled, and customers rightly expect a good journey for what they are paying.

But by 2009, the World Economic Forum ranked the quality of Britain’s railways as 21st in the world. Far behind Germany at 5th and France at 4th, and even one place behind India. That is completely unacceptable.

Rail is not some heritage “has been”, but a vital, fast and clean part of a 21st century transport landscape. So since 2010, we have begun a massive programme of rail investment: committing over £38 billion to improve our railways — and that sum does not include the vast bulk of HS2 spending.

We are building new stations, and refurbishing old ones like Reading, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and London Bridge. Laying new tracks. Electrifying more than 850 miles of the network. And bringing thousands of new train carriages into service.

Since 2013, we have also had a fresh approach to franchising. Rather than assessing franchise bids purely on the basis of the best possible price, we also take into account quality of service for rail customers. So any operator who wants to run a rail franchise in this country must show how over the lifetime of the franchise they will deliver a better service for customers.

It’s an approach that is delivering real benefits, such as better trains, more frequent services, onboard wi-fi, refurbished stations and better customer information and service.

But we cannot claim to have truly modernised our railways if we don’t also transform ticketing.

South East Flexible Ticketing

Since 2011, we have made good progress on smart ticketing in the south east of the country through the South East Flexible Ticketing programme, known as SEFT.

SEFT is a government-backed programme under which train companies can collaborate to offer smart ITSO-based tickets that work seamlessly across the south-east.

The programme has grown to include 5 train companies covering over 70% of the south-east’s annual season ticket commuter market.

But SEFT is doing more than extend smart ticketing coverage. SEFT is showing that different operators can come together. They can get their back-office IT systems to talk to one another. And they can provide a seamless customer experience across different operators and different transport modes.

So SEFT has helped smart ticketing technology to mature and industry expertise to grow. But above all, it has helped us reach the point at which future innovation can be led by the private sector. By companies who know their customers’ needs and have the ambition to meet those needs, and an ambition to run their businesses with more innovation and efficiency.

And it’s that sense of ambition that our new approach to franchising is designed to stimulate.

So when last year we set out our aims for the forthcoming Southwestern and West Midlands franchise competitions, we said that we wanted bidders to make a significant increase in the use of smart ticketing.

When the competition begins in earnest in the spring, we expect to see some really exciting proposals. But this expectation isn’t a one-off.

In the future, anyone who bids to operate a rail franchise will need to show plans to offer smart ticketing that meets customers’ needs.

Thanks to our SEFT programme there’s a proven system ready for train operators to use, so customers can enjoy a seamless travelling experience.

The future — moving on from magstripe

Because, after all, the industry’s overriding commitment should be to the fare-paying customer.

And if smart ticketing is to become established on our railways, it will mean the death of the tangerine ticket; the familiar orange magstripe paper ticket that has served Britain’s rail customers for thirty years.

A ticket that has done its job well, but now seems woefully inadequate for the future — especially for an industry focused on customer service.


As Rail Minister and a regional MP, I travel on our railways a lot. And I know how after a few journeys the tangerine tickets proliferate in every purse, pocket and bag.

Tickets, seat reservations and even the receipt from the ticket machine — all the same size and colour. All needing to be physically printed at some point in my journey. Easily lost or mistaken. Leading to the familiar gate line ‘pocket pat-down’. Or the shamefaced plea for mercy from the harassed station staff. “Honestly I did buy the return, here is my receipt.”

Imagine how much worse that is when you are the Rail Minister.

But it’s not my experiences that matter. But the missed opportunity to link ticketing across travel modes, deliver much more customer convenience, and drive great customer relationship management.

Customer choice

Any good business wants to get to know its customers better. To know their preferences and habits. To be able to close the gap between what customers pay for and what they actually use. And to offer new products and services that meet their needs. That’s what smart ticketing can offer both company and customer. And that’s why it’s important that in the longer term customers are offered not just digital tickets, but truly smart tickets.

I am often asked what sort of smart ticketing the government wants to see. And my answer is this. The government is agnostic. The choice should be the customer’s.

If the customer wants to load their tickets onto the bank card they used to buy their tickets online, or onto their phone, a watch, or a bracelet, or, if like one Moscow Metro user they want to insert a chip under their skin, the choice ought to be theirs.

And rail operators should be free to figure out how to deliver what their customers want and what works for their business.

But amid all the radical ideas, careful thought must also be given to the needs of customers who over many years have grown used to paper tickets.

There’s nothing wrong with a big bang introduction of new technology. But some people will benefit from a staged approach, or extra help from staff. Many people still like interacting with others when buying tickets. Or carrying paper proofs of their purchase. And of course, smart devices need electrons.


So I hope that I have given the conference plenty to talk about.

Since privatisation, customer numbers on our railways have more than doubled, and the government is now investing an unprecedented sum of public money in rail.

It’s fair to expect the industry to respond with new ticketing that customers want to use. Because the momentum is with smart ticketing. It’s no longer an optional extra. It’s an inevitability.

Smart ticketing has already made travelling easier for millions of customers. Now the challenge is to bring its benefits to millions more.

That’s an exciting prospect — and I’m looking to the industry to make it happen.

Thank you.

Claire Perry – 2016 Speech on Women Delivering Crossrail


Below is the text of the speech made by Claire Perry, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, at the House of Commons in London on 19 January 2016.


Thank you, everyone, for coming today.

I’m really pleased to have this chance to celebrate what Crossrail is doing for women.

Or, more accurately, what women are doing for Crossrail.

Often when I tell people that Crossrail is being dug by Sophie, Jessica, Ada, Victoria, Elizabeth, Mary Ellie and Phyllis, they are impressed that we’ve managed to find some female construction workers.

They are wrong, of course.

Those are the names of some of Crossrail’s tunnel boring machines (TBM), named after 8 women important to London’s history.

Yet standing behind those machines, and throughout Crossrail’s 45 construction sites, are thousands of women designing, building and fitting out this great railway.

In every way, Crossrail is breaking new ground.

It’s the largest infrastructure project in Europe.

The most technically challenging.

The most ambitious.

In little over 3 years, working through night and day.

The Crossrail team has dug 26 miles of tunnels under London.

The wider industry has a problem

Yet Crossrail is breaking ground in other ways, too.

As Terry Morgan has always said, Crossrail is more than a transport project.

It’s a blueprint for how infrastructure should be built in the future.

For women in particular, Crossrail is opening doors of opportunity.

Because across the construction industry, only 11% of employees are women, even including those in office-based roles.

Of engineers, only 6% are women.

And of those working in manual or operational roles, women make up a mere 2%.

These figures reflect a world in which women can benefit from new infrastructure, but that they cannot build it.

Whether it was the ‘closed shop’ policies used by the unions to protect male jobs, or the prejudice that says women don’t have what it takes for demanding work, female talent has been underused.

Change cannot come too soon.

Because thanks to massive government investment, the infrastructure industry is set for decades of growth.

Crossrail is just the beginning.

We are also renewing our existing railways and many of our most important stations.

We are investing £15 billion in our roads.

We are building new power stations, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, new flood defences.

And next year we start building HS2 — a project that will do for the country what Crossrail is doing for London.

Together, these projects are creating opportunities for tens of thousands of new infrastructure professionals for decades into the future.

So if we accept the status quo, we will find ourselves excluded from one of the UK’s most important growth industries, and the industry itself will lack the people we need to get the work done.

That is why what Crossrail is doing is so important.

It is leading the way for the whole industry.

Crossrail must now become the model, not just the exception.

And for me, 3 things that Crossrail has done differently stand out.

Changing the face of infrastructure

First, Crossrail is changing the image of infrastructure.

As my colleague Nicky Morgan put it in one of her speeches last year.

For many, a job in construction conjures up an image of a man in a high-vis jacket wearing his trousers slightly lower than is strictly decent.

If women are seen on site at all, they’re in the calendar on the wall of the foreman’s portakabin.

But Crossrail is changing things.

As I’ve seen on my site tours, proper-fitting PPE equipment is provided for men and women — and low-slung jeans aren’t on offer.

Lewd material is banned.

And although the last time we built a railway on the scale of Crossrail the tunnels were dug more by brawn than by brain.

On Crossrail they were dug by Phyllis, Jessica and Sophie and their 5 high-precision, mechanical sisters

And that’s a vital point.

Because although not all projects need a TBM.

Today’s infrastructure construction sites are increasingly-sophisticated places, requiring communication skills, the ability to manage complex projects, team working, and a knack for winning the trust of clients and site neighbours.

They’re all skills that women tend to have in bucket-loads.

Through Crossrail, they’re steadily becoming a hallmark of modern construction.

And when you do get women on board, they can instigate their own changes.

Sometimes the simplest changes are the most powerful.

Such as changes to language.

When I visited the Farringdon site recently, I was escorted by Khouloud El Hakim.

Khouloud shared with me that since Linda Miller has been working as the project manager on the Farringdon tunnel.

She has banned terms such as ‘man rider’, previously used to describe the access lift.

Now it’s just a basket.

A more appealing term all round.

These changes are small, but they start to add up.

They improve how the workplace is perceived…

And make it more welcoming for women.

Role models

After changing infrastructure’s image, the second lesson that Crossrail can teach us is on the importance of role models.

Crossrail’s support for initiatives such as National Women in Engineering Day helps make links between women working on Crossrail and girls planning their careers.

In particular, Crossrail used Women in Engineering Day to offer training and speed-networking with women already working in the industry.

And Crossrail certainly has some great role models.

I’ve mentioned Linda Miller and Khouloud El Hakim, but there are thousands like them.

Many of whom echo the words of the inspirational Ground Settlement Engineer who said that:

This has changed my life”.

And you don’t have to be famous to be a role model, either.

Anyone can inspire a friend or relative to consider a new career.

And prove that infrastructure offers jobs for women just like them.


The third lesson we can learn from Crossrail is on the importance of outreach — actively seeking to hire and promote women, but also talking to people who have not yet chosen their careers.

Under the Young Crossrail programme, Ambassadors from Crossrail — of whom over half are women — have visited schools and careers events to promote careers in engineering, construction and railway infrastructure and to influence exam choices leading to careers in these fields.

Crossrail has also offered work experience, and supported contractors on their own school engagement work.

In total, 277 schools, colleges and universities and over 36,000 young people, parents and teachers have been directly engaged by Crossrail.

And in October I visited Farringdon to celebrate a new partnership between Crossrail and Women into Construction.

Women into Construction is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to recruit women into all areas of construction.

And over the last 6 months this partnership has meant 18 women — including some who had never considered careers in construction before — have been placed into roles on Crossrail.


The results of all these changes are clear.

Of those who have undertaken work experience on Crossrail, over a fifth are women.

Of those taking part in Crossrail’s graduate programme, many of whom will go on to be the future leaders of the industry, women make up almost a quarter.

And in total, of the 10,000 people working on Crossrail, nearly one third are women.

So through Crossrail, women are forging careers they never thought possible.

Achieving things that would have been unthinkable even 10 years ago.

Yet for all the thousands of individual women for whom Crossrail has opened doors, it is also having a much wider effect.

On attitudes.

And on society.

Crossrail is proving that a project can reach out to female talent not despite the challenge of running to time and budget.

But in order to run to time and budget.


So it’s great to be able to celebrate what women are doing on this project.

Crossrail is set to change London’s transport landscape.

But it’s already changing lives.

Tonight, I am looking forward to discussing what more we can do.

Thank you.