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17 July 2019
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UK STILL LAGS BEHIND ITS TARGETS ON CUTTING EMISSIONS 

Carbon emissions © iStock
UK still lags behind its targets on cutting emissions © iStock

10 July 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal 


UK action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is lagging far behind what is needed even to meet previous less stringent emissions targets, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

 

Over the past year, the government has delivered just one of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track, shows its latest report.


Action to prepare homes, businesses and natural environment for a warming world is “less ambitious” than it was 10 years ago. 


Of 33 key sectors assessed by the committee in a second, related report also published this week, none shows good progress when it comes to managing climate change risk. 


The UK has legislated for net-zero emissions by 2050, states the committee and “now the UK Government must show it is serious about its legal obligations to tackle and prepare for climate change”.


The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) responded to the report, saying that the UK is failing to cut emissions and adapt to climate change quickly enough.

 

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, the 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.”


Read Reducing UK Emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament here.