Ministers should face legal action unless they agree to cut greenhouse gases in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, a former chief government scientist has said. The UK currently has a legally binding target to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, even though they must be brought down to net zero by that date to meet the country’s international obligations. Last year, the then Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, said the UK would achieve a 100 per cent cut, but ministers have failed to make this tougher target a binding one under the UK Climate Change Act. Speaking to the BBC, Professor Sir David King said this was “crazy”, adding that he backed campaign group Plan B’s threat to take the Government to court over the issue. “The Government knows very well what needs to be done – but it isn’t doing it,” he said. “If it takes legal action to force ministers to behave properly, then so be it – I’ll support it.”
Independent 27th Sept 2017 read more »
Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend. All of the world’s biggest emitting nations, except India, saw falling or static carbon emissions due to less coal burning and increasing renewable energy, according to data published on Thursday by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (NEAA). However other mainly developing nations, including Indonesia, still have rising rates of CO2 emissions. Stalled global emissions still means huge amounts of CO2 are being added to the atmosphere every year – more than 35bn tonnes in 2016 – driving up global temperatures and increasing the risk of damaging, extreme weather. Furthermore, other heat-trapping greenhouse gases, mainly methane from cattle and leaks from oil and gas exploration, are still rising and went up by 1% in 2016.
Guardian 28th Sept 2017 read more »