Government policy failure hurdles UK net-zero target, advisers warn | Climate Change Committee

Its legal advisers said in a shocking progress report to Parliament that the government had failed to enact the policies needed to reach the UK’s net-zero targets.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has expressed concerns that ministers may roll back a legally binding commitment to achieve net net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, citing “major policy failures” and “little evidence of delivery”.

Lord Dippen, chair of the commission and a former Conservative environment minister, said the government had set strong emissions cut targets, but policy to achieve them was absent. “The government wanted the ends, but not the means,” he said. This report showed that current plans will not meet the commitments [to net zero]. “

He said net-zero policies are also the best way to reduce high costs of living. Average household bills would be around £125 less today if previous plans for green energy and energy efficiency were followed. “If you want to deal with the cost of living crisis, that’s exactly what you have to do,” he said.

The biggest failure was the policy of impeachment. Britain’s homes are the most costly in Western Europe, heating costs are crippling family budgets, and heating is one of the single biggest sources of carbon emissions, but the government has no plans to help most people insulate their homes.

“It’s a psycho-political issue – in a way our politicians don’t see energy efficiency as something they can handle and claim credit for,” Deben said.

Duben also criticized proposals for a new coal mine in Cumbria. A decision is expected by July 7. “[This] A coal mine is absolutely untenable. Eighty percent of the coal produced will be exported; It will not contribute anything to our domestic needs. [On the international stage] It creates another example of Britain saying one thing and doing another.”

He also questioned the usefulness of hydraulic fracturing. While the committee cannot call for a ban on it, he said potential investors should be made aware that government climate plans require a phase-out of gas use in the mid-1930s, unless accompanied by carbon capture and storage.

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However, Deben said he was “not concerned” about increased power generation from coal-fired power plants in response to higher energy prices, calling it a “short-term measure” necessary to “keep the lights on” and would not have a long-term impact on emissions.

In its annual progress report to Parliament, the CCC outlined how it is monitoring milestones on the path to achieving the net-zero target. In some cases, the government is doing well – renewable energy generation, for example, has increased dramatically, and the use of electric cars has been boosted by the government’s goal of phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

But these have been accompanied by notable failures, such as the lack of clear policies on the 12% of UK emissions that come from agriculture and land use. “Devra [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] said Chris Stark, CEO of CCC.

Stark also noted widespread concerns within policy circles that the government, after boosting its targets in the run-up to the UN’s COP26 climate summit last year, was changing tack in response to the cost of living crisis.

Stark said that while there was no significant policy retreat, he was concerned about a “change of rhetoric” from ministers.

“This report is an indictment of the government’s abject failure to support its ambitious goals with credible action across the economy,” said Ed Matthew, campaign manager at E3G Thinktank.

Amy McCarthy, a political activist with Greenpeace UK, countered the lack of segregation measures and incentives to explore new fossil fuels: “The cost of living should add momentum to the kind of action we need to take to stop the climate – destroying energy waste from our homes. However, This government appears intent on pushing the measures from the fossil fuel giants instead, offering tax breaks to encourage new drilling on the false pretense that it will get us out of this mess.”

A government spokesperson said: “The UK is ahead of most other countries with around 40% of our energy now coming from cleaner and cheaper renewable sources. This is backed by £6 billion in funding to make our homes and buildings more energy efficient, and the cultivation of up to 30,000 hectares of new trees annually, and more electric cars than ever before are on our way. [We are] Decarbonizing our cars and trucks faster than any other developed country.”

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