WCA Blog

Climate Change Committee approves government's plan for net zero

Saturday, October 30, 2021

The  Climate Change Committee has issued its assessment of the UK government's plan to reach net zero carbon emissions. The assessment itself is a downloadable 1 MB document, available here; the CCC's summary of its assessment is generally very positive. For example

"Our overall assessment is that it is an ambitious and comprehensive strategy that marks a significant step forward for UK climate policy, setting a globally leading benchmark to take to COP26. Further steps will need to follow quickly to implement the policies and proposals mapped out in the Net Zero Strategy if it is to be a success."

It highlights three areas in which greater detail is required: decarbonisation of agriculture, a Net Zero Test to apply to every policy decision to ensure its compatibility with the net zero target, and demand measures :

"There is less emphasis on reducing demand for high carbon activities than in the CCC’s scenarios. The Government does not include an explicit ambition on diet change, or reductions in the growth of aviation" 

 The first of these three areas evidently has particular relevance to Warwickshire.  The second is relevant too: the lack of a clear criterion for compatibility with net zero was one of the criticisms in WCA's report on Warwickshire County Council's Climate Emergency Action Plan. The third is in some respects the most difficult and testing for everyone: reducing our carbon footprint by consuming less. It remains to be seen whether and how the government will find ways of encouraging us to do this.

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