Caroline Lucas: The time is now to transform the United Kingdom into a zero carbon economy. Today’s report is full of good news. For example, it finds that with the cost of renewable energy continuing to plummet, we can be much more ambitious on climate change without increasing the cost of doing so – indeed, we can adopt the new net-zero target without any additional cost to the public purse. It shows that we can radically transform our whole society – creating healthier, happy lives for everyone – and we can do so within a generation.
New Statesman 2nd May 2019 read more »
Dr Anne Owen is senior research fellow at the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute. In a recent Carbon Brief article, my colleague Prof John Barrett and I revealed that the UK’s carbon footprint is at its lowest level for 20 years, including emissions embedded in imported goods. However, the reasons for this decline are not well understood. The UK’s footprint is also falling more slowly than its territorial emissions, which is used more often but sometimes contested. Given the UK’s emissions are falling too slowly to meet its own climate goals against either measure – let alone the aspirational 1.5C limit of the Paris Agreement – there is a pressing need to better understand the underlying reasons for emissions reductions. In this new analysis, I explore why the UK’s carbon footprint is decreasing – and what that means for future emissions targets. Decarbonisation of energy supplies and improvements in energy efficiency have tended to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint over time. Much of the reduction in the UK’s carbon footprint to date has been due to the decarbonisation of domestic electricity supplies. To see further reductions, the UK will need to look towards decarbonisation of the heating and transport sectors – arguably, a more difficult challenge.
Carbon Brief 8th May 2019 read more »
The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) chief executive Chris Stark has defended the body’s decision not to advise the Government on pathways which could create a net-zero carbon economy before 2050, arguing that doing so would be “very risky” from a social and economic perspective.
Edie 8th May 2019 read more »
Bill McKibben: It’s rare that you get to see, in sharp focus, opposite world views fighting for the planet’s future at the same time, but it happened on Monday. First came the summary findings of a fifteen-hundred-page United Nations report on biodiversity—that is, on everything that isn’t us. And it was as depressing a document as humans have ever produced. Hours after the release of the U.N. report, on Monday, the Secretary of State perfectly crystallized the essence of [another] world view. Mike Pompeo was at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland. And there, as representatives from the seven other member states and six indigenous organizations warned about the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice, Pompeo, instead, exulted. “The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance,” he said. “It houses thirteen per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil, thirty per cent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare-earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore.” In fact, he said, it can’t melt fast enough.
New Yorker 8th May 2019 read more »
The UK must place climate change at the centre of aid strategy and funding if it is to have a meaningful impact on the range and seriousness of threats facing developing nations as a result of climate change, a report by the International Development Committee found.
Parliament 8th May 2019 read more »