Despite emissions halving in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdowns, the road to net zero is far from half-complete. A new report suggests that while government has been making promises and taking steps towards a greener future for our planet, we’ve got more work ahead of us than many might have hoped for before now.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) released their latest progress report this week which showed alarming results indicating just how much slower than needed we are going on some very important tasks related to climate change prevention, and a number of statements of this type have already been made by the regulatory body, warning us of their results.
The committee notes that even if efforts to lower greenhouse gases are successful, the consequences of these emissions will still be a danger. This is why they recommend more measures for buildings, industry and agriculture in order have ‘true’ net neutrality goals as well as an ambitious heat plan. The team agree across the board that as the nation comes out of lockdown, these emissions will rebound in 2022.
CCC also encourage a “net zero test” and more attention given towards power sector, industrial decarbonisation, North Sea conservation plans as well as energy-from-waste programs, while the Government is also pressed to deliver their promises to decarbonise surface transport, aviation, hydrogen, food and biomass.
In their progress report, the CCC stated,
“If progress does not extend outside the power sector, the sixth carbon budget will be missed by a huge margin; the policies in place so far will only cut, at most a fifth of the emissions required to hit the sixth carbon budget in 2035,
“Even expanding this to “ambitions” announced by the government but not yet enacted in firm policy only covers around half of the necessary emissions cuts,
This “policy gap” is not unique to the sixth carbon budget, as government projections suggest the UK is not on track to achieve its fourth or fifth carbon budgets either.”
The decarbonisation transportation plan is still aiming to be taking place in 2021, though some call this optimism as the data draws closer.