A joint plan has been agreed by government and the oil industry body UKPIA to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in the oil refining sector.

Work towards the agreement began in 2013, when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned studies on eight energy intensive industry sectors with the objective to develop long-term decarbonisation and energy efficiency roadmaps through to 2050.

UKPIA worked closely with Parsons Brinckerhoff and DNV GL, the lead consultants appointed by DECC and BIS to develop the roadmaps for the refining sector, which was published in March 2015, alongside similar roadmaps for the cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel and paper and pulp sectors.

Since 2015, Government and industry have worked together to identify the conditions necessary and steps required to deliver the long-term carbon abatement and energy efficiency opportunities identified in the roadmaps.

On October 12 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a joint industry - Government Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the oil refining sector, alongside corresponding Action Plans for other sectors.

Chris Hunt, UKPIA director general, said: “The challenge to continue to ensure a secure and reliable supply of energy in the orderly transition to a lower carbon economy is clear. The refining sector is taking a variety of actions across its value chain to reduce emissions and will continue to be an integral part of efforts to address this challenge.

“The refining sector plays a vital role in the manufacture and supply of petroleum products used by millions of consumers, along with thousands of businesses, hospitals, schools, the emergency services, maritime and aviation customers. A secure, affordable and resilient supply of these product is essential to secure a strong base for the UK economy and its future growth.

“The Action Plan stresses the importance of a market-based policy framework that creates the right conditions for investment in decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures and encourages innovation in enabling the UK to deliver its decarbonisation potential. The UK Government has a crucial role to play in the development of the policy framework required to create these market conditions, both domestically and in its international diplomacy and action on climate change.”

Climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said: “I am pleased to co-sign the joint Government and Oil Refining Sector Industrial Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Roadmap Action Plan with the UK Petroleum Industry Association, and thank them for their collaboration on the initiative.

“The Action Plan sets out how Government and energy intensive industries will collaborate to support the sectors to decarbonise and improve their energy efficiency while maintaining competitiveness, and forms a crucial part of our Clean Growth Strategy that has been published today to set out how the UK will meet its Carbon Budgets.”