The UK government is facing a “get real” moment over global heating, its advisers have said. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said ministers were failing to cut emissions fast enough, and failing to adapt to rising temperatures. The committee chairman said ministers were acting like the hapless characters from the vintage comedy, Dad’s Army. The government said it would soon set out plans to tackle emissions from aviation, heat, energy and transport. The prime minister recently announced that the UK would lead the world by cutting almost all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – so-called net zero. She also aspired to the UK hosting a hugely important global climate summit next year. But the CCC said that the UK was already stumbling over measures needed to achieve the previous target of an 80% emissions cut. Its report says new policies must be found to help people lead good lives without fuelling global warming.
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Responding to the Committee on Climate Change annual reports Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace UK said: “This is a truly brutal reality check on the government’s current progress in tackling the climate emergency. It paints the government as a sleeper who’s woken up, seen the house is on fire, raised the alarm and gone straight back to sleep. Having a world-leading target is not enough, it needs to be accompanied by policies which match the target’s ambition on cars and vans, houses and offices, trains and planes. The government can’t keep coasting on the carbon reductions from getting coal out of the electricity system, which was absolutely necessary but by no means sufficient. We urgently need to take the same approach to oil, gas, and every sector with significant emissions. The new prime minister really must take the government’s net zero commitment and turn it into something practically meaningful.”
Greenpeace 10th July 2019 read more »
Last year authors of the CCC set out 25 policy actions that the UK government should adopt to reduce emissions. Twelve months later only one of these has been delivered in full. The policy actions are spread across key sectors: power; industry; transport; buildings; agriculture, forestry and land use, and waste. This is a summary of what the government has done so far and what needs to be done if the UK is going to reach the net zero 2050 target. The only sector which has seen good progress is power which has made the most significant reductions for the fifth year in a row. In the past few months the UK has set a number of coal-free milestones and this change has been driven by strong policies favouring renewable energies. Coal-fired power generation has fallen from a 40 per cent share of electricity in 2012 to a 5 per cent share in 2018. The authors say this represents a “significant success” and is clear evidence that policy can drive down emissions. The government has created an ambitious industrial decarbonisation clusters mission. A key aim of this is to create a net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 which will rely on carbon capture and storage (CCS) to suck out carbon dioxide from emissions. This would be a world first. Last month the government awarded £26m of funding for nine CCS projects. The committee says these promising proposals need to be turned into concrete policies. CCS technology should be operational by the mid 2020s and working at scale from the 2030s, the committee said. Transport has the largest emissions of any UK sector, accounting for 23 per cent of total emissions. Further delays in adopting policy changes in this area are likely to make reaching the fourth and fifth carbon budgets extremely difficult. All key building policy gaps identified in 2018 remain partly or completely unaddressed. Plans for phasing out fossil fuel heating in properties off the gas grid remain unclear. Energy efficient measures in buildings are being deployed 20 per cent slower than the recommended rate. The implementation of low-energy heat pumps also remains weak.
Independent 10th July 2019 read more »
UK credibility on climate change rests on Government action over next 18 months. UK action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is lagging far behind what is needed, even to meet previous, less stringent, emissions targets. Over the past year, the Government has delivered just 1 of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track, its new report shows.
The CCC 10th July 2019 read more »
The UK government only has 12-18 months left to raise its game on climate policy, or risk “embarrassment” as the likely host of the COP26 UN summit late next year. That’s the message from the latest annual Committee on Climate Change (CCC) progress report, submitted to parliament and government, which says the time to strengthen policy is “now”. The UK remains off track against its legally binding carbon budgets and gets failing report cards on a series of indicators developed by the CCC. These cover government policy and progress on the ground in cutting emissions, as well as plans to protect the country from growing climate risks. The report follows CCC advice published in May recommending that the UK adopt a target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. This was recently accepted by government and became law in June. But CCC chief executive Chris Stark told a press briefing launching today’s report: “We are not on track…having a net-zero target will not magically fix this problem.” He added: “The government must show it is serious about its legal obligations…[its] credibility really is at stake here…There is a window over the next 12-18 months to do something about this. If we don’t see that, I fear the government will be embarrassed at COP26.”
Carbon Brief 10th July 2019 read more »
Drill or Drop 10th July 2019 read more »
Energy White Paper to be published this month.
Utility Week 10th July 2019 read more »