The Role of Behaviour Change in Delivering Net Zero. Setting targets is the easy part of the challenge: much harder is establishing how they will be delivered. And while there are many pathways to delivering net zero, they have two things in common. First, while our decarbonisation to date has not required major changes to our economy and society, the next phase will be more costly, visible and impactful – requiring profound changes in how we produce and use energy, how we move around, the buildings we live in, and our environment and countryside. Second, meeting the net-zero goal – and our arguably more difficult interim targets in 2030 and 2035 – cannot rely on technology deployment alone. It will also require significant behavioural changes from consumers (and voters) across the country. When we look at electric-vehicle uptake, awareness is higher compared to low-carbon heating, and people are increasingly willing to consider buying an electric vehicle. But a significant proportion already feels that it is doing all that it can – and that cost and hassle (this time in the form of concern about charging infrastructure) are the key barriers. If the main barriers of cost and range anxiety can be addressed, uptake should follow. And when we look at “pure” behaviour change – flying and driving less – a majority is either unwilling to act or feels that it is already doing all it can.
Institute for Global Policy Change 19th Aug 2021 read more »
Climate change can be tackled with small reductions in flying and driving and we can continue eating meat and dairy, according to a report by Tony Blair’s think tank. It rebuts claims that meeting the UK’s legally binding target of net zero by 2050 will require a “total transformation” of people’s daily lives and says the number of behaviour changes needed over the next 15 years is “relatively limited”. It adds that the emissions savings needed to hit the target would not require a reduction in living standards. Average kilometres travelled per person by plane would need to fall by only about 6 per cent between 2019 and 2035, the report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change says. Kilometres travelled per driver would need to decline by about 4 per cent over the same period, although 60 per cent of cars by 2035 would need to be electric. Meat and dairy consumption would have to be cut by 20 per cent but “we do not all need to become vegetarian”, the report adds. It does say, however, that 40 per cent of homes should move to low-carbon heating systems by 2035, with the main options being expensive electric heat pumps, or hydrogen boilers, which would be cheaper to install but could be much more costly to run.
Times 20th Aug 2021 read more »
Greta Thunberg has accused the UK of lying about its progress on tackling climate change, in an embarrassing broadside directed at the hosts of the COP26 climate conference. The Swedish climate activist told reporters at a press conference earlier this week that claims the UK is a ‘climate leader’ – which have been repeated by cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a regular basis – are a “lie”. “There’s a lie that the UK is a climate leader and that they have reduced their emissions by 45 per cent since 1990,” she said, pointing out the statistics do not include the UK’s share of emissions from international aviation, shipping and imported goods. Thunberg was speaking at the launch of a Unicef report which revealed almost half of the world’s children live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high risk” of climate impacts. Some 240 million children around the world are highly exposed to coastal flooding, 400 million are vulnerable to cyclones, and a billion children are exposed to “exceedingly high” levels of air pollution, the report warned.
iNews 20th Aug 2021 read more »
Telegraph 20th Aug 2021 read more »
The vast expense of ending global warming will trigger a blow to the world economy that is as damaging as the 1974 oil shock, a top international economist has warned. A scramble to cut carbon emissions is likely to send energy prices rocketing and hold back living standards for years to come, Jean Pisani-Ferry said in a report published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Mr Pisani-Ferry – a public policy expert who has served in senior economic roles in the European Union for decades – said that although the bill is both manageable and necessary to halt climate change, politicians are failing to be honest with the public about the dramatic effect on their lives and livelihoods. The report suggests the rush to curb emissions will have similarly dramatic implications [to the 74 oil shock], destroying jobs and businesses as the world adapts on a vast scale. In Britain, ministers are planning a ban on petrol cars, the conversion of millions of boilers to hydrogen and the replacement of fossil fuel power stations with renewable alternatives as part of a push to hit next zero in 2050. Mr Pisani-Ferry cited the car industry as an example of climate trends already in motion. The impending shift to electric vehicles means existing factories and expertise will become redundant, rendering old investments worthless and skilled workers unwanted. A whole new investment in plant and training will be required to get back to the existing position of large-scale car manufacture, likely with fewer workers than before. Yet often politicians fail to mention the costs and prefer to highlight the creation of new green jobs. Mr Pisani-Ferry said: “There is no guarantee that the transition to carbon neutrality will be good for growth. “Undoubtedly, consumers will be better off in the long run, as they will benefit from a preserved climate. But in the short run their welfare is likely to take a hit, at least in comparison to trend.”
Telegraph 19th Aug 2021 read more »