Britain sets deadline for carbon neutrality by 2050

14 Juin, 2019, 20:29 | Auteur: Therese Cote

The Climate Change Act 2008 committed the United Kingdom to reduce net emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

The statutory instrument that will amend the Climate Change Act of 2008 will be laid in Parliament on 12 June. "We must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth".

"Standing by is not an option". The chair of Green Christian, Paul Bodenham, said that the United Kingdom should be aiming to reach net zero within six years: "If the United Kingdom is serious about worldwide leadership, we must acknowledge the debt our country owes to poorer nations and to the young and unborn".

For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape future United Kingdom climate policy through the Youth Steering Group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, which will advise Government on priorities for environmental action and give a view on progress to date against existing commitments on climate, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss.

"This is a big moment for everyone in the climate movement and particularly to the youth climate strikers, who rightly should advise on future climate and environmental policy".

The president of the National Farmers' Union, Minette Batters, has pledged that her sector will be net zero by 2040.

Critics of the approach include Chancellor Phillip Hammond, after a letter leaked from the Treasury showed a potential trillion pound cost of the move.

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It added that an assessment will be carried out within five years to "confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the UK's lead and ensuring that our industries do not face unfair competition".

A report from the independent Committee on Climate Change recommended wholesale changes to the way the United Kingdom generates, distributes and consumes power as well as ways the public can change their habits, including flying less and driving electric cars. This will allow the United Kingdom to offset domestic emissions by paying for cuts in other countries.

If replicated across the world and coupled with near-term emissions reductions, there would be a greater than 50 percent chance of limiting the temperature increases to just 1.5 degrees Celsius - the "safe" upper limit identified by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change last October, the committee said. In making a climate-emergency declaration, the government commits to making policies that fight climate change. That means emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry will have to be avoided completely or - in the most hard examples - offset by planting trees or sucking Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, welcomed the Government's decision but emphasised that it must be followed up with long-term policies. Engineers will play a vital advisory role to ensure the deployment of large-scale projects, programmes and large investment in infrastructure is achieved in an effective and timely manner. One of the greatest challenges to reducing Carbon dioxide emissions is how we heat our homes as some 37% of Carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom are produced from heating. According to reports, the plan will cut greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero by 2050. This is thanks to their unique ability to connect a wide range of heat sources including hydrogen, electric heat pumps, green gas, waste heat and solar at point of construction. "The technology and approaches that will deliver net zero are now understood, which is crucial, but will need strong policy leadership to ensure they are implemented".

The report also advises the United Kingdom to quadruple its renewable energy generation capacity, improve biodiversity, and introducing carbon capture and storage (CCS) at scale. "If we get that balance right, then the United Kingdom chemical industry and its 140,000 skilled workers across the country can help accelerate the delivery of green solutions, benefitting society and the environment". "Christians and people of all faiths have long called for action on climate change to both preserve the natural world on which we all rely, and to protect God's creation for generations to come".

"UK business stands squarely behind the Government's commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050".

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