The UK has fallen behind on its promises to slash emissions and fight climate change despite claims it’s leading major industrialised nations in its fight to slow global warming.
That’s the conclusion of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the government’s official adviser on environmental policies, which suggests ministers need to take much more dramatic action to meet their own promises.
The findings in an annual report to parliament show that efforts to rein in fossil fuel emissions have largely been confined to the power generation industry, with policies for other segments of the economy too narrow to be effective.
The report suggests ministers so far are only paying lip service to a goal shared by the main political parties to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“The UK is not ready for the impacts of climate change, even at the minimum expected level of global warming,” Julia King, chair of the CCC’s adaptation committee.
“The government is not yet addressing adequately all of the climate risks it has itself identified as critical.”
In the past 12 months, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government has delivered one of 25 policies needed to meet emissions targets, the report said.
Last year, UK greenhouse gas emissions fell 2 percent, bringing to 40 percent the total reduction from levels reached in 1990 when the consensus about the need to tackle global warming gained traction.
“This is a remarkable, damning assessment of the Government’s failure to tackle and prepare for climate change by their own advisers,” said Rebecca Long Bailey, the Labour Party’s energy spokeswoman.
Britain isn’t alone in missing its targets. Most European Union nations also are behind on the goals they set for 2030, according to a report from the bloc’s regulatory arm released last month.
The UK climate committee made recommendations across every aspect of British infrastructure, transport and
If implemented, the measures could see the country move more quickly to its zero-emissions target.
Surface transport is the single biggest polluting sector in the UK, making up 23 percent of all emissions. The advisory body said Britain needs to move the ban on combustion vehicles to as early as 2030 and bring in stronger incentives to buy cleaner vehicles.