In the wake of a new Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report, which predicts that the UK will miss its future carbon budgets, the green economy is calling on the Government to take bolder actions to decarbonise the transport, heat and agriculture sectors. The CCC’s annual progress report to Parliament, published today (June 28), marks the 10-year anniversary of the Climate Change Act that commits the UK Government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. The new report by the CCC accused ministers of failing to set strong enough policies across transport, heat, agriculture and in the built environment sector, despite strong overall progress in the shift towards renewable power. It warns that weak policies regarding energy efficiency, green transport and clean heat will “leave young people to pick up the bill for climate change” if politicians continue to “dodge” climate change issues by spurning low-cost options, such as onshore windfarms, home insulation and tree-planting. The UK Green Building Council (UK GBC) today reaffirmed its commitment to urge ministers to “set out a pathway” to ensure all new buildings are “genuinely net-zero carbon” by 2030. The CCC notes in the report that Ministers are leaving several “cost-effective potential solutions” on the sidelines, citing solar power as a key area where potential had been left “unrealised” after a string of subsidy cuts. While strong progress has been made in the power sector, which has cut emissions by 43% since 1990, the report claims there “has been minimal progress in bringing forward cheap mature renewables”, such as solar. To remedy this issue, the Solar Trade Association (STA) is advocating in favour of Government policies which would provide access to long-term contracts for the development of subsidy-free solar farms, and which would reverse solar tariffs.
Edie 28th June 2018 read more »
The government will next week face a day in court over its failure to fast track the adoption of a more ambitious long term emissions target for the UK in line with the Paris Agreement. In the latest phase of legal action brought by the campaign group Plan B, the High Court will next Wednesday hear the case and is expected to decide on the day whether it can proceed to a full trial. Plan B – which has secured support from a number of high profile figures including the government’s former chief scientific advisor Sir David King – will argue that the government’s failure to revise its current target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent against 1990 levels by 2050 is illegal, irrational, and a breach of the claimants’ fundamental human rights. The group, which has brought the case alongside 11 citizens, aged nine to 79, maintains that while the 80 per cent target set under the 2008 Climate Change Act was designed to deliver emissions reductions that would mean the UK made a fair contribution to keeping global temperature increases this century below 2C, more recent scientific evidence and the UK’s obligations under the Paris Agreement require the government to adopt a more ambitious target.
Business Green 29th June 2018 read more »