Government Slammed Over Climate Change Crisis

IN A report released today (10 July 2019) the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has called on the government to show that it is serious about its legal obligations to tackle and prepare for climate change.

The report, Reducing UK emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament, says 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, it says, the government has delivered just one of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track.

Meanwhile, action to prepare homes, businesses and natural environment for a warming world is less ambitious than it was ten years ago. Of 33 key sectors assessed by the committee, none show good progress when it comes to managing climate change risk.

In order to meet the UK’s legally-binding emissions targets, the committee’s report to parliament recommends that:

  • Net-zero policy is embedded across all levels and departments of government, with strong leadership at the centre.
  • Government policies to reduce UK emissions to net zero are business-friendly.
  • The public must be fully engaged in the UK’s net-zero transition.
  • The UK strongly leads international action to tackle climate change.
John Alker, Director of Policy & Places

John Alker, Director of Policy & Places, UKGBC, said: “It is time for the Government to wake up on climate action. Having loudly trumpeted the UK’s global leadership credentials in setting a net zero target, today’s report has laid bare the scale of the challenge and how far we are currently falling short. The cost-effective mitigation potential from the built environment is huge, but for yet another year emissions from buildings barely changed.

“Businesses are starting to wake up to the realities of achieving net zero and are crying out for clarity on the future policy framework. The Government has clear opportunities this year to unleash waves of investment and innovation in low carbon: the review of Building Regulations must set out a pathway to achieving genuinely net zero carbon buildings and the Spending Review should allocate major public investment into a national infrastructure programme to improve energy efficiency. Without urgent policy action, there is a risk that the net zero target starts losing credibility before we’ve even started.”

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association

Expressing his support for the CCC’s report, Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of the Solar Trade association added: “For four years now the Committee on Climate Change has been urging the Government to get behind the most popular and cost-effective renewables. In what is now surely a national Groundhog Day, we again fully support their calls for technology neutral auctions that provide a secure route-to-market for large-scale solar. On the publication of last year’s Progress Report we said the Government must now surely listen and act. Not only has nothing happened but the policy framework has actually gone backwards for solar.”

The full report is available to download here.

 

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