Government to bring forward climate target by 15 years

Government to bring forward climate target by 15 years

Boris Johnson is set to announce radical new climate change targets this week, which will set the UK on course to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

The prime minister's commitments, which will become law, bring forward the current target for reducing carbon emissions by 15 years. This would be a world-leading position.

Amongst other things hitting the targets would require more low-carbon heating.

Homes will need to be much better insulated, and people will be encouraged to drive less and walk and cycle more. Aviation is likely to become more expensive for frequent fliers.

Tom Burke, from the environmental think tank E3G, explained what policy changes were needed to achieve the goal: "The most important thing, I think, is for [the prime minister] to focus his policy around energy efficiency, around wind and solar, and around storage of electricity and the management of the grid."

The announcement has drawn both praise and criticism, with some praising the ambitious new target and others pointing out that current targets have not been met.

Leo Murray of the climate charity Possible called the announcement "fantastic", but added: "We're not on track to meet previous climate commitments and in many ways the government is still failing."

James Brooman, Technical Consultant at Elmhurst Energy Consultancy, commented: “we welcome this announcement, which demonstrates that the UK Government recognise the need for stronger action on the issue of climate change. It is vital that the government takes decisive actions to back up this commitment. In order to achieve this notably more ambitious target, improving the energy efficiency of our homes and implementation of alternative, low-carbon heating solutions will become ever more critical. It will also be vital to develop further our tools to more accurately measure the performance of buildings, to ensure that these targets are met.

Article published 20/04/21

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