The government is not being honest about the extent people will need to change their lives to reach net zero goals, a government adviser on climate change has said. “To get to net zero, every aspect of the way that we emit at the moment needs to be tackled,” said David Joffe, the head of carbon budgets at the Climate Change Committee. “And we can’t just duck those difficult conversations.” The UK Government set a new target this week to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 from a 1990 baseline, in line with the recommendations of the CCC, an independent Government advisory body. It is on track to phase out coal in the electricity system by 2025, and has banned the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030. But it is yet to outline exactly how cuts will be achieved in several areas, including home heating, international aviation and agriculture, which is likely to affect diets. But Mr Joffe said “people need to understand what the changes are that are coming down the line whether they like it or not”. He pointed to the phase-out of gas boilers and the possible replacement in some areas with a district heating system. “If in my local area for example there’s going to be a heat network that pipes hot water around, and everyone needs to sign up. Well, that’s a change that’s coming for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you want it or not,” he said. “So there will be those kinds of changes as well as individual choices. And I don’t think a lot of people in this country realise either of those things.”
Telegraph 22nd April 2021 read more »
Philip Dunne MP: This week we have had the welcome news that the UK had gone even further with its nationally determined contribution, with ambitions now to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared with 1990 levels. It is incredibly ambitious, including aviation and maritime emissions for the first time, and is exactly the sort of international leadership needed this year to stimulate changes in behaviour and mobilise private sector investment to bring such dramatic change. But it does require clarity on policy delivery and an end to stop-start measures. Only this week, Green Alliance, the environmental think tank, released their updated net zero policy tracker. It shows that, on current trajectory, overall UK carbon emissions will be nearly 40 per cent higher in 2030 than they need to be and the prime minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution accounts for only 26 per cent of the emissions reductions needed. Buildings, for example, still account for 16 per cent of UK emissions and reductions have stalled. Improving energy efficiency can help save on bills, cut carbon, and create jobs. That’s why I was so disappointed to see the £2 billion Green Homes Grant scrapped for owner-occupiers and private landlords last month. We now need the Heat and Buildings Strategy due to be published soon, to confirm a long-term replacement, with funding allocated in the spending review this autumn to help people insulate their homes, as recommended by my committee earlier this week. My committee’s role is to scrutinise environmental policy. This is the year for the UK to get its house in order, make a success of Cop26 and set a clear path to meet its emissions reduction targets on the journey to net zero. Great progress has been made, but there is some way to go. We need to continue cutting carbon, not corners, if the UK is to meet its legal obligations on climate and be viewed as a credible leader on the world stage.
Times 23rd April 2021 read more »