The world’s wealthy must radically change their lifestyles to tackle climate change, a report says. It says the world’s wealthiest 1% produce double the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, according to the UN. The wealthiest 5% alone – the so-called “polluter elite” – contributed 37% of emissions growth between 1990 and 2015. The authors want to deter SUV drivers and frequent fliers – and persuade the wealthy to insulate their homes well. The authors urge the UK government to reverse its decision to scrap air passenger duty on UK return flights. And they want ministers to re-instate the Green Homes Grant scheme they also scrapped recently. The report comes from the UK-based Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change. It’s a panel of 31 individuals who study people’s behaviour relating to the environment. They were tasked to find the most effective way of scaling up action to tackle carbon emissions.
BBC 13th April 2021 read more »
Ministers accused of failing to show commitment to UK net zero target. Big on targets, light on details is a criticism of many “net zero” pledges and none more so than the UK’s. The government has not issued its overarching roadmap for achieving net zero. Two other key documents — a Treasury review of where the costs of the transition to net zero will fall and a decarbonisation strategy for household heating and buildings — were expected in early 2021 but have also yet to be published. The Treasury in particular has yet to show its hand – in keeping with i’s tradition for being appalling at planning beyond the next budget speech. “I don’t think we know [if they are taking net-zero seriously]”, said Mike Thompson, director of analysis at the Climate Change Committee. “We’ve had some of the right words . . . but in terms of active difficult decisions, we’ve not seen much of that yet.
FT 12th April 2021 read more »
Boris Johnson must urgently take control of the UK’s presidency of vital UN climate talks, amid a shower of green policy setbacks and growing concern over the lack of a coherent all-government climate strategy, senior international figures have said. The Cop26 climate summit is viewed as one of the last chances to put the world on track to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, of holding global heating well below 2C, and preferably no more than 1.5C, above pre-industrial levels. There are just over six months left before the crunch talks are scheduled to begin in Glasgow in November. Major figures in the global climate talks, including veteran diplomats, scientists and respected campaigners, have expressed concern to the Guardian that while the UK is making progress on agreement at Cop26, a series of missteps by the government is in danger of undermining the UK’s leadership and the success of the talks.
Guardian 12th April 2021 read more »
Wartsilla publishes scorecard ranking the electricity sector carbon reductions of the 10 largest European economies’ since the first spate of Covid lockdowns. The UK’s power-related carbon emissions fell 7.6 per cent over the past 12 months as coal power plants shuttered across the nation and demand for electricity nosedived during the country’s multiple lockdowns, according to data published this morning by Warstilla. The reduction in emissions from the power sector places the UK firmly in the middle of a league table published this morning by the Finnish power technology company, which compares the carbon reduction performance of the continent’s 10 largest economies during the pandemic. The closure of a number of coal power plants in Austria and Spain shot the two nations to the top of the league table, which notes that Austria saw the largest percentage drop in emissions, at 28.8 per cent, enabled by the closure of the country’s largest coal plant in April of last year. Meanwhile, Spain saw the largest absolute drop in tonnes of carbon emissions – 10.2Mt of CO2 – after closing seven coal plants last June.
Business Green 13th April 2021 read more »
Bosses of Arrival, Ecotricity, and Bulb are among more than 30 business leaders to urge government to take step to make low carbon products and solutions more affordable for consumers Leading green technology businesses have urged the government to use its new found independence from EU regulation to scrap VAT on ‘green’ products such as electric vehicles (EVs), low-carbon boilers, energy storage devices, and insulation, arguing the move would accelerate uptake of low-carbon products and services critical to the UK meeting its net zero goals. The chief executives of Arrival, Bulb, Ecotricity, and the Association for Renewable and Clean Technology are among more than 30 business leaders who wrote to the Prime Minister last Thursday calling for VAT on products that reduce household and individual carbon emissions to be axed.
Business Green 12th April 2021 read more »