UK government advisers to recommend net zero emissions by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change, which is to publish its keenly awaited recommendations this week, will set the ambitious new goal for the UK overall, according to three people briefed on the report. However, they added the committee would argue that Scotland should target net zero by 2045 while Wales should aim for 95 per cent emission reductions by 2050 – because of its large sheep-farming industry. It will also advise that the costs to get to net zero will equate to 1-2 per cent of 2050 gross domestic product, the same amount that was estimated a decade ago when the committee initially recommended targeting emission reductions of 80 per cent compared with 1990 levels. A spokeswoman for the CCC declined to comment ahead of the report’s publication on Thursday.
FT 30th April 2019 read more »
The i News 29th April 2019 read more »
Ministers are set to endorse a more ambitious climate target in a move likely to provoke tensions in Whitehall. The government’s advisory panel, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), is expected to recommend this week that the UK goes for a “net-zero” target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Theresa May is likely to back this, although it does not yet have cabinet agreement. Ministers are expected to back the target but not the routes to achieve it, many of which will be contentious. At present the UK has a decade-old target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Until now the CCC has said it would be too expensive to meet a more ambitious target, but the cost of batteries and other technology has fallen rapidly in recent years. Changes to the target are most likely to be made in an environment bill expected in the next Queen’s Speech in the autumn, although this has not been confirmed. This will disappoint some campaigners who say it could be done sooner, using secondary legislation. The cross-party consensus on the issue means that the changes could be agreed via a committee rather than the whole Commons. This would ensure that the change is in place before Mrs May’s departure, rather than leaving the issue hanging for her successor, who may take a less enthusiastic view.
Times 30th April 2019 read more »
More than 50 leading business figures have urged European countries to commit to slashing their carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2050. The chief executives of Unilever, the consumer goods group, Burberry, the fashion brand, and Ikea, the home furnishings group, are among the signatories to the letter to The Times, written ahead of the Future of Europe summit of EU leaders in Romania next week.
Times 30th April 2019 read more »
Business Green 30th April 2019 read more »
The UK can fully decarbonise by 2050 at a “very low cost”, the first head of parliament’s climate change watchdog has claimed. Lord Turner, who chaired the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) from 2008 to 2012, told a briefing last week that the “net-zero” emissions target could be achieved even faster than the middle of this century. At the event, organised by the Energy and Climate Information Unit think-tank ahead of the publication next week of the CCC’s report on the feasibility of meeting the zero-carbon goal by 2050, he said: “The critical thing is that we can do it at very low cost by 2050. And meeting the net-zero goal by 2045 is achievable with “real effort and some behavioural change”, the former CBI director general said: “If society is willing to accept more than a trivial cost, we could bring that date forward.”
Edie 29th April 2019 read more »
Momentum, the youth climate strikers and Extinction Rebellion are to unite in protest outside parliament on Wednesday as Labour calls on the Conservatives to declare an environmental emergency in a parliamentary vote. In the first explicit collaboration between the three groups, a coalition of activists and campaigners will rally in Parliament Square to demand the government backs the plan, first put forward by Extinction Rebellion as the primary demand of the protests that engulfed London over the past fortnight. Last month Labour declared an environment and climate emergency and the shadow environment secretary, Sue Hayman, challenged her government counterpart, Michael Gove, to follow suit. The party has now forced a Commons vote on the issue as concerns over pollution and climate change dominate the political agenda.
Guardian 29th April 2019 read more »
A cross-party group of politicians and campaigners have urged Theresa May to put the UK Government on a “war footing” to tackle climate change. They have called for a “revolution in political leadership” to coincide with the launch today by the IPPR think-tank of a new Environmental Justice Commission to set out a plan to deliver a rapid transition to a green economy. Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, who co-chairs IPPR’s new commission, said: “Climate change is the biggest threat to our economic and social wellbeing and to our national security. “Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy but too often it sends the message that business as usual will do.” He went on: “We need a revolution in political leadership; the problem we face is not just climate denial but climate appeasement. This commission brings together people from all walks of life, generations and political parties to bring about the solutions we need.” The Doncaster MP added: “It is time to put economic and social justice at the heart of the environmental cause. Our work will show how we should deploy all the resources of government to deliver a Green New Deal for the UK, putting our country to work on tackling this threat.” Green MP Caroline Lucas, who also co-chairs the commission, warned maintaining the status quo was to gamble with the fate of humanity.
Herald 30th April 2019 read more »