This post is by Jan Rosenow and Samuel Thomas of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). It was first published in Utility Week.
For months, we have been waiting for the UK government’s proposal for the future of clean heat policy. After committing to a net zero carbon target for 2050, the need to take aggressive action now to drive down emissions from heating became clear. Surely the government would announce something bold or step up support for climate friendly heating technologies? We could not have been more disappointed. Read more
As an environmentalist, I’m not a big fan of offsetting. Not only does it probably lead to increased pollution, absolving us of responsibility for our emissions, but carbon credits have also been notoriously poor at actually delivering the carbon reductions they claim. I’ve not set foot on a plane since 2011 as I struggle to justify flying, even with a carbon offset. Read more
The BBC ran a story this week with the headline ‘The UK can’t go climate neutral before 2050’, citing an important report from the independent research body, the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC). That report details a set of pathways to getting the UK to net zero by 2050 and is careful to highlight that it is not prescriptive. While we cannot expect nuance in a news headline, suggesting that it is impossible to hit net zero carbon before 2050 belies the very nature of innovation. Read more
In a week’s time, the government will unveil its first budget. It will be keen to deliver on the big spending promises pledged in the Conservative manifesto, particularly in the newly won northern constituencies. The manifesto also promised to prioritise the environment. Read more
On 4 February, the government launched COP26 with more of a whimper than a bang. The UN summit, to be hosted in Glasgow in November, is arguably the most significant international climate moment since Paris in 2015. 2020 is the year when all countries will need to ratchet up the promises they initially made five years ago and set out clear plans to achieve them. Read more
This will be a big year for climate change in the UK and around the world. The UK is set to host the all-important UN conference on climate change, COP26 in Glasgow, where countries are expected to put forward enhanced ambition on mitigation and financing to deal with the crisis. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our domestic and international leadership on the issue. Read more
This post is by Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director general at CBI. It is one of six essays taken from our publication Countdown to COP26.
Public demand for action on climate change is clear. Climate strikes and protests throughout the year have made this an issue global leaders cannot ignore. But it is not a problem for governments to solve alone. Read more
This post is by Nick Molho, executive director at Aldersgate Group
Taking on the challenge of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 – as recently set out by the UK government – requires deep cuts in emissions in sectors where decarbonisation is a complex challenge, such as heating, transport, the cement and steel industries, aviation, and food. Read more
This blog was originally posted on LabourList for the FEPS-Fabian Summer Conference 2019.
Our climate has benefited from Theresa May’s shift into legacy mode, with her hugely welcome announcement that the UK government will follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and legislate for a net zero emissions target. But she was pipped to the post by the devolved administrations: the SNP government in Scotland had already adopted a more ambitious net zero emissions target, while the Labour government in Wales pledged to achieve net zero five years ahead of the target advised by the CCC.
Game on. But, as the UK parliament recognised in its May 1st declaration, we face a wider environmental crisis beyond climate change – as if the latter weren’t terrifying enough. A few days after the debate, a colossal global assessment of humanity’s impact on nature made headlines with its finding that one million species are facing extinction. Read more
This post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment.
The UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 is a milestone in the battle against climate change and an important signal to other EU members still debating whether to match the goal. However, setting targets is the easy part. The devil will be in the detail about how to meet them. This is particularly the case with transport, where emissions have been virtually unchanged since 1990 and now account for a third of UK total greenhouse gas emissions. Read more