The UK government is not progressing on course to meet its 2050 net zero target.
That’s the word from the country’s Committee on Climate Change, who in their latest report, call for stronger policies, as current policies are progressing too slowly to mark significant change.
In fact, the report claims that the policy gap has widened over the past year as a result of new future emissions predictions, sufficiently so as to render moot the positive progress made to date.
The Committee on Climate Change says that measures set in the Clean Growth Strategy haven’t been sufficiently-developed to meet “even the existing carbon budgets” and calls for Treasury to use measures such as taxation to reduce emissions nationally.
The Treasury is also due to review the allocation of costs required to meet the 2050 net zero target, which the Committee says will be an opportunity to incentivise the support of low-carbon options and align funding to meet the target date.
The CCC further claims that the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is falling far short of the pace in introducing carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and other technologies such as onshore wind, and the latter they say could severely reduce both emissions, and energy bills.
The CCC goes on to propose additional measures it says the UK government can implement to ensure targets are met, including implementing net zero throughout government departments, and more business-friendly policies which provide clear direction, with a simple rules and incentivisation framework.
It further calls for greater public participation, and that both policy and low carbon products should be developed in line with the country’s transition.
A UK government spokesperson said: “As the CCC recognises, we are the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions, have cleaned up our power sector, cut emissions faster than any G7 country while growing the economy, championed adaptation and set a strong example for other countries to follow.
“We know there is more to do and legislating for net zero will help to drive further action. We’ll set out plans in the coming months to tackle emissions from aviation, heat, energy, agriculture and transport as well further measures to protect the environment from extreme weather including flood protection and nature restoration.”