What Is the UK Doing About the Climate Challenge?

Summary

  • Climate change threat is increasing every day, with the world having touched 419 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere in May 2021, the highest ever on record.
  • The UK’s ambitious net zero targets and its plan to decarbonise some of its polluting sectors are how it plans to achieve net zero emissions.

Climate change is increasingly becoming a threat to the world. According to the UN agency, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Earth’s annual average temperature has a 40% likelihood of temporarily increasing beyond the limit set by the Paris Agreement in the next five years.

The Paris Agreement of 2015 had set a target of keeping global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Record levels of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere touched 419 parts per million in May 2021, the highest in 63 years since data has been recorded. Co2 levels are now 50% higher than pre-industrial levels.

UK’s actions

The UK has made addressing climate change and focusing on sustainability a national aim, with a target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It is also scheduled to host the COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow in November this year.

The UK government can address this challenge by increasing its net zero initiatives across high carbon emitting sectors. The British steel industry is one of the most polluting sectors in the UK and is also an essential provider of over 30,000 jobs. 

According to a report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), the UK is far behind its steel industry decarbonisation plans than the EU, with 23 hydrogen-based steel production plants already present in the EU and none yet in the UK.

The UK government department BEIS recently announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to help with its decarbonisation strategy.

Also Read: UK Government Comes to Rescue of Ailing Steel Industry

UK’s fast-fashion brands such as Boohoo (LON: BOO), Missguided and other online brands were also found to have predominantly non-recycled plastics in their clothing, according to research conducted by the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). It thus called on the UK Government to introduce a plastic tax to address this challenge.

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