Among all the headlines that come and go in the media, the threat of the climate crisis continues to loom large. Droughts in Africa and wildfires in North America and Europe may seem far away to people in the UK, but the consequences of climate change are very real for everyone.

Seven of the warmest years on record have taken place in the last 10 and 83% of all natural disasters that have occurred in the last decade can be linked to climate change. The facts and figures are terrifying and unambiguous.

Every country in the world has a role to play in combatting this crisis. What is the UK doing to contribute?

What are the UK’s climate goals?

What are the UK’s climate goals

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has legally obligated the government to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. These goals are part of the wider commitments resulting from the 2015 Paris Agreement, where many of the world’s nations came together to plan their action against global warming.

Smaller goals have been outlined in areas such as power generation, homes and heating, and transportation to help the UK progress towards its main objective. For example, the government has targeted a five-fold increase in offshore wind capacity by 2030 and electric cars to make up 52% of all sales by 2028.

Having goals is one thing; creating and implementing plans to achieve them is another. Is the UK taking real steps towards its targets?

What is UK doing to deliver change?

What is UK doing to deliver change

The government has begun to introduce schemes and policies to drive progress. They are encouraging individuals and small businesses to reduce their environmental impact. Many companies are enlisting the support of climate change law firms to assist with energy transitions and sustainable progress.

Much attention has been focused on housing and heating, with gas boilers to be banned in new builds from 2025, according to Environmental Protection Act. Grants for heat pumps are being offered to homeowners to upgrade their heating systems. Schemes such as ECO+, due to start in April 2023, have been designed to improve insulation levels in homes around the country to improve energy efficiency.

In the transportation sector, new petrol and diesel car sales are set to be banned in 2030. Fossil fuel-powered vehicles are due to be phased out of public transport systems too, with trains and buses going green. Encouraging alternative modes of transport is a key focus for the government, with £338 million already spent on walking and cycling infrastructure in England alone. Investment in electric charging infrastructure aims to reduce business rates and barriers to EV ownership.

The government claims that £198 billion has been invested in low-carbon energy since 2010. It expects a further £100 billion private investment to help the country reduce its reliance on non-renewable energy.

The UK is doing its bit to contribute to the fight against climate change, but there is criticism that more can be done from a range of stakeholders. It will be interesting to see how successfully the government reaches its targets as the years pass.

You may also like