Climate Action

UK needs to take immediate action on sustainable cars and homes

The UK Government’s official climate advisers have warned that not enough is being done to address carbon emissions in key sectors of the economy.

  • 28 June 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

The UK Government’s official climate advisers have warned that not enough is being done to address carbon emissions in key sectors of the economy.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC)’s annual report points out that strong advancements have been made in the electricity sector, but this progress “masks a marked failure to decarbonise other sectors, including transport, agriculture and buildings.”

In the 10 years since the ground-breaking Climate Change Act was passed by Parliament, emissions across the board have declined by 43 percent on 1990 levels, according to the CCC. The UK’s mandated carbon budgets mean this ambition increases with time, rising to 51 percent by 2025 and ultimately 80 percent by 2050.

In recent years, three-quarters of the decline in emissions is attributable to progress in the power sector; for example, the development of new wind and solar farms.

The CCC stresses that more action has to be taken immediately to ensure the country stays on course to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Despite the government’s recent Clean Growth Strategy, there remains a dearth of detailed policy proposals to ensure decarbonisation takes place across all parts of the economy, especially where energy consumption is highest.

There remain a number of low-cost, simple solutions the government is failing to implement. These include planting more trees, building more onshore wind and solar, and restoring incentives to increase energy efficiency.

The Committee’s Chairman, Lord Deben, said: “Although the UK seeks to lead the world in tackling climate change, the fact is that we’re off track to meet our own emissions targets in the 2020s and 2030s.”

“We now have to ensure that the Government learns from this experience and presents a programme to tackle emissions right across the economy, including in buildings, transport and agriculture. This action is now urgent in order to meet the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets, and to prepare to fulfil the obligations of the Paris Agreement.”

Source: CCC