A bill which would commit the UK Government to reducing national carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 will be put to Parliament next Tuesday (11 June), the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee has confirmed today (7 June) Developed in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendations on legislating for a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, which was published last month, the new bill will be introduced to the House by BEIS Committee Chair Rachel Reeves MP. The specifics of the bill are yet to be revealed, but the framework is broadly expected to echo the measures proposed by the CCC. These include bringing the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales forward to 2035; quadrupling the UK’s renewable energy generation capacity; rewilding 20,000 hectares of land annually and deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) at scale. The BEIS Committee has confirmed that the bill would also include international aviation and shipping. Under the existing Climate Change Act, the UK currently excludes international aviation and certain types of international maritime activity from its overall carbon footprint calculations – a caveat which will be removed by an alteration of the Act if the bill is passed.
Edie 7th June 2019 read more »
Britain’s biggest energy companies will have to buy renewable energy from their own customers under new laws to be introduced this week. Homeowners who install new rooftop solar panels from 1 January 2020 will be able to lower their bills by selling the energy they do not need to their supplier. A record was set at noon on a Friday in May 2017, when solar energy supplied around a quarter of the UK’s electricity. However, solar panel owners are not always at home on sunny days to reap the benefit. The new rules will allow them to make money if they generate electricity for the grid. Some 800,000 householders with solar panels already benefit from payments under a previous scheme. However, the subsidies were controversially scrapped by the government in April, causing the number of new installations to fall by 94% in May from the month before.
Guardian 9th June 2019 read more »
Simon Clarke is the Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and Alex Chalk is the Conservative MP for Cheltenham: While the CCC’s experts were poring over their sums and parliament voting itself into stalemate over Brexit, something rather more important was happening on the streets of our towns and cities. Schoolchildren, inspired by the Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, went on strike to demand that our generation act in the interest of theirs. Later the good-humoured street-blockers of Extinction Rebellion made their case persuasively in London and around the country. Their demand of net zero by 2025 is beyond feasible, but in their call for swift action towards the target they are absolutely correct. The simple fact is that in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, with concern about climate change rising visibly in every nation’s schools, with the cost of clean energy plummeting (onshore wind and solar down by 12 per cent in a single year), net zero is becoming the new normal. Citizens are demanding that we deal with climate change – in the UK, two thirds of the electorate want us to hit net zero within a few decades, while vanishingly few people oppose. Business is keen, with the CBI declaring that “a massive opportunity for exports makes net zero an essential part of ‘Brand Britain’ as we move into a new international era”. A successful Brexit cannot, now, be the legacy that Theresa May and her cabinet desired. Committing to end Britain’s contribution to climate change can be. It would be both popular and principled and would go some way towards giving our divided party and divided nation some of the healing they so desperately need. Simon Clarke is the Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and Alex Chalk is the Conservative MP for Cheltenham.
Times 10th June 2019 read more »