Catherine Mitchell: Extinction Rebellion has called for the UK to be Net Zero by 2025; and Prof Julia Steinberger (Prof Ecological Economics & Activist) in a tweet in response to a Business Green blog has said that she has sympathy with the 2025 date because it is a political and social statement rather than a scientific one. (You say it’s not feasible to get to zero by then? FINE. Then show us just how fast you can do it.) Choosing 2025 does make sense given the need to cut warming rapidly. What date to choose becomes inextricably linked to ‘reality’ and ‘credibility’ of meeting these cuts – and as GB stands, even with enormous political will and social support – being net zero by 2025 is – and we use these words carefully – extremely unlikely. In parallel to net Zero, the phrase ‘Climate Emergency’ has become a political and social statement, which includes its own meanings – particularly to everyday people. And we in IGov support such a phrasing precisely because of its social and political context. Both the IPCC and CCC are clear though that, if we are to limit warming to 1.5oC, we have to act now – and it seems to us in IGov that the first policy priority is a serious cross UK roll-out of building retrofit – because this could reduce our emissions significantly and relatively quickly, but also would help to negate potential equity consequences for those most likely to be negatively affected by transformation.
IGov 3rd May 2019 read more »