UK Government to set new climate change target to cut emissions by 78%

7th May 2021 | Commercial Energy

The UK Government has announced it is to set in law the ‘world’s most ambitious climate change target’. By 2035, it aims to cut the nation’s emissions by 78% compared to 1990 levels. For the first time, the latest Carbon Budget will also incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shopping emissions and ultimately help bring the UK ‘more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.’ It will also mean that the UK will remain in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting global warming to below 2°C.
The targets will be enshrined in law by the end of June this year, but a number of experts have warned that the Government’s aims with reducing emissions will mean drastic lifestyle changes for the UK public.

According to iNews, several campaigners and politicians have said decisive action will be needed ‘across the board’ to hit these targets. What’s more, the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has specifically highlighted what will need to change with our heating and transport, in a 1,000-page study it has conducted.

In the immediate, the CCC claims the nation will need to ‘turn its back’ on coal and ensure that all new homes constructed by 2025 are ‘carbon neutral’ and use low-carbon heating instead of oil and gas-powered boilers – with the sale of these stopped altogether by the early 2030s. By the same point, the CCC believes we must stop the sale of petrol vans and cars, increase the cost of air travel and ‘eat 20 per cent less meat and dairy’ within nine years.

Chris Stark, chief executive of the Government’s official global warming adviser, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), offered his comments:  “Putting these ambitious targets into law is a huge moment for the UK. By the end of this decade, we’ll need to be ready to end the sale of high-carbon cars, vans and boilers. We will change what we consume, how we travel and how we heat our homes. We’ll develop new UK industries and we’ll invest in the restoration of the natural environment.”

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