Today’s Committee on Climate Change report is a clear call for strong government action – but it doesn’t go far enough.
The urgency of the climate crisis requires radical solutions, with changes to almost every aspect of society. Done well, with good long-term planning, this transition holds the potential not only to tackle climate change but also to bring about improvements in diet and health, air and water quality, and human wellbeing.
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October’s IPCC 1.5C report showed that we must reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2050, with a 45% reduction on 2010 levels by 2030. The UK can show global leadership, take responsibility for our historic emissions and help deliver climate justice by targeting an earlier date to reach zero.
CAT would like to see a commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 at the latest.
CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain research coordinator, Paul Allen said:
“The proposals outlined by the Committee on Climate Change are clearly an improvement on previous targets, and we welcome many of the policy recommendations. However, climate change is the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced, and it requires us to push ourselves to do everything possible to rise to the challenge.
“Given the urgency of the environmental crisis and the dire consequences if the world doesn’t reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with much of the reduction needed in the next 11 years, the UK has a global responsibility to be bold and ambitious. “
“We can turn this around – but we need a radical climate emergency action plan, and we need to start now.”
For the past 12 years, CAT has been researching ways of getting to net zero greenhouse gas emissions using proven technologies that could be rolled out at the scale and speed demanded by the climate science.
Our ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ research has shown that the UK could reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of powering down energy demand from buildings and transport, powering up renewable energy supplies, and changing diets and ways of using land.
With the groundswell of public opinion now recognising that we are facing an emergency situation that will require radical action, the UK is in a better position than ever before to implement the necessary changes.