- In a recent progress report, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) hinted that it would not be able to meet the UK’s target of achieving the Net Zero emissions target by 2050.
- The UK government must do more to insulate draught-driven homes as the sharply rising energy prices could hit poorly insulated households.
The UK government is staring at legal challenges from a trio of environmental and legal campaign groups over its unlawful and irresponsible net-zero climate strategy. According to Friends of Earth, ClientEarth, and Good Law Project, the UK government failed to enlist how it would meet its Net Zero targets by 2050.
For the first time, the UK government has faced legal action against its net-zero plans, formally launched in October 2021. The Net Zero Strategy is the defined measure to meet UK’s legally binding net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The UK government estimated that to be on track with its 2032 carbon target, the country must reduce emissions by around 151 million tonnes. However, it doesn’t have any clear roadmap on how much individual measures can help achieve the set targets.
In a recent progress report, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), an independent body established to advise and monitor the UK government on climate change, said the country’s plan to meet the net-zero emissions target by 2050 would not be delivered.
With soaring energy prices, heating costs are crippling the household budget, and also it is one of the most significant single sources of carbon emissions. But the UK government’s insulation policy is the greatest failure.
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Let’s look at some hurdles in UK’s Net Zero path as seen by experts.
- UK insulation Policy
The UK government must do more to insulate draught-driven homes as the sharply rising energy prices could hit poor households. Over 2.5 million households in the UK live in poor housing conditions, and the quickest way to address soaring gas prices is an effective insulation policy. With the previous green homes grant scrapped, the UK government should table its new strategy to achieve energy efficiency.
- UK Farming emission plans
Farming and land use are responsible for about 12% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, primarily because of methane. The UK government had promised during the Glasgow COP26 meet in 2021 that it would lower its methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. But the targets do not match the Farming Emissions Policy. Since 2008, the emissions have not gone up and have remained at the same level.
But the UK government has been inefficient in deciding on taxpayer-funded farmer incentives, tree planting, and other conservation measures.
- Investment Renewable energy
As per studies, around half of the global energy is expected to come from renewable energy sources by 2025, which has led to an increase in investment flows in the renewable energy sector globally. The UK has seen the same trend. The government and businesses are also looking for innovative ways to switch to an alternative energy source with lower emissions.
In April this year, the UK government published its energy security strategy, which revealed that it aims to generate 95% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 to reduce dependency on other oil-producing countries following the crisis due to the Russia and Ukraine war. However, many experts believe that the UK government is using coal-fired power plants to meet its short-term demands.
- Transportation Policy
Last year, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison faced backlash after she called for a move away from private car ownership and increase the use of shared transport, such as trains and buses. The aim was to reduce the demand for privately owned vehicles and achieve the Net Zero target.
Although the use of electric vehicles is increasing, it’s still not enough to make a real difference in the total emissions from the transport sector. The UK government should make quick progress in this regard.
- Less awareness
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has revealed that the UK government is reluctant to ask the public to change their overall behaviour and contribute to achieving the net-zero target. The committee has called for public campaigns to make people aware of the Net Zero goals and educate them about the health and environmental impact of greenhouse gas and how they can contribute to reducing emissions.