THE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE has published its Sixth Carbon Budget for the UK, recommending a 78% reduction on 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommendations bring forward the UK’s previous 80% target by nearly 15 years.
The Sixth Carbon Budget, required under the Climate Change Act, provides government ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037.
Reducing energy waste
The main recommendations for carbon reduction in the UK include reducing waste, with buildings losing less energy through a national programme to improve insulation across the UK.
Another focus is on replacing fossil fuel use in cars, vans and boilers with electricity by the early 2030s, and new trucks by 2040. Hydrogen is also considered as a replacement shipping and transport fuel.
The production of UK electricity, itself to be zero carbon by 2035, will rely on offshore wind, which becomes the backbone of the UK energy system, growing from the Prime Minister’s promised 40GW in 2030 to 100GW or more by 2050.
Other greenhouse gas reduction measures include dietary changes, reducing consumption of high-carbon meat and dairy products by 20% by 2030. Agricultural transformation involves, 460,000 hectares of new mixed woodland planted by 2035, with woodland accounting for 15% of UK land by 2035 and 260,000 hectares of farmland shifts to producing energy crops.
The Chief Executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Hannah Vickers said, “The Sixth Carbon Budget reinforces the urgency for all to step-up to the plate and highlights that no sector can be left behind on society’s Net Zero journey. Our own research released this week shows most areas of the bult environment are still worryingly underprepared, with water, ports and airports currently the least ready for Net Zero. As well as changes to policy and programmes, consultants will need to lead by example and offer carbon free designs for every project they work on if we are to make the rapid progress required.”
Practical action for construction
Last week, the National Federation of Builders launched a handbook of practical tools to help contractors step up to the plate and deliver the country’s net zero carbon ambitions.
‘Transforming Construction: Delivering a Low Carbon Future’ contains practical actions contractors can implement in their own businesses.