The UK Government has announced it is to set in law the ‘world’s most ambitious climate change target’. By 2035, it aims to cut the nation’s emissions by 78% compared to 1990 levels.
For the first time, the latest Carbon Budget will also incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shopping emissions and ultimately help bring the UK ‘more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.’ It will also mean that the UK will remain in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting global warming to below 2°C.
The targets will be enshrined in law by the end of June this year, but a number of experts have warned that the Government’s aims with reducing emissions will mean drastic lifestyle changes for the UK public.
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An end to ‘high-carbon cars, vans and boilers’
According to iNews, several campaigners and politicians have said decisive action will be needed ‘across the board’ to hit these targets. What’s more, the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has specifically highlighted what will need to change with our heating and transport, in a 1,000-page study it has conducted.
In the immediate, the CCC claims the nation will need to ‘turn its back’ on coal and ensure that all new homes constructed by 2025 are ‘carbon neutral’ and use low-carbon heating instead of oil and gas-powered boilers – with the sale of these stopped altogether by the early 2030s. By the same point, the CCC believes we must stop the sale of petrol vans and cars, increase the cost of air travel and ‘eat 20 per cent less meat and dairy’ within nine years.
Chris Stark, chief executive of the Government’s official global warming adviser, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), offered his comments:
“Putting these ambitious targets into law is a huge moment for the UK. By the end of this decade, we’ll need to be ready to end the sale of high-carbon cars, vans and boilers. We will change what we consume, how we travel and how we heat our homes. We’ll develop new UK industries and we’ll invest in the restoration of the natural environment.”
Changes we can make today
While the targets are ambitious, they have been largely welcomed and the steps the CCC has recommended we take as a society can be achieved if we all play our part. However, in the meantime, there are changes we can make today that are in line with the CCC’s suggestions and can also help contribute further to the shift towards net zero.
You could reduce your energy consumption and overall use of utilities by simply cutting back and being smarter with how much you’re using on a day-to-day basis. What’s more, you may also want to switch to a green energy tariff, or at least one that has a fuel mix with a higher amount of renewables - and in turn, also reduce your carbon footprint.
Switching is easy, as with an online energy comparison service you can find the best energy deals near you that are either green or include renewables. Often these tariffs are also cheaper than standard deals. What's more, green suppliers like Octopus and Bulb are considered some of the best energy suppliers around right now. So not only could you save on your energy bills, you’ll also be switching to better service and will ultimately be helping to provide a greener future for the UK.
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Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.