NEWS & INSIGHTS
The UK will speed up its plans to cut carbon emissions by 15 years, ministers announced [BBC]
[BBC Reports] Radical new climate change commitments will set the UK on course to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, the UK government has announced.
Hitting the targets would require more electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable electricity and, for many, cutting down on meat and dairy.
For the first time, climate law will be extended to cover international aviation and shipping.
The prime minister’s commitments, which are to become law, bring forward the current target for reducing carbon emissions by 15 years. This would be a world-leading position.
The government has accepted the advice of its independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) to adopt the emissions cut, which is based on 1990 levels.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted a major surge in CO2 emissions from energy this year, as the world rebounds from the pandemic.
The UK’s new commitments come as US President Joe Biden prepares to stage a climate summit from Washington DC.
Environmentalists welcomed the government’s move, but warned that ministers had consistently failed to achieve previous CCC-set targets.
And they insisted that Chancellor Rishi Sunak must show clearly how the transition is to be funded.
IMAGE: A Romco employee sorts discarded metal waste for processing into useable aluminium ingots in Lagos, Nigeria.
The CCC report accepted by the government says low-carbon investment must scale up to £50bn a year in the UK. But it adds that in time fuel savings from more efficient equipment will cancel out investment costs.
The CCC believes around 1% of GDP – national wealth – would need to be spent on shifting away from fossil fuels over 30 years.
Its chairman, Lord Deben, said previously: “The implication of this path is clear: the utmost focus is required from government over the next 10 years.
“If policy is not scaled up across every sector, if business is not encouraged to invest, if the people of the UK are not engaged in this challenge – the UK will not deliver net zero by 2050. The 2020s must be the decisive decade of progress and action.”
Ed Matthew, campaigns director of E3G, said: “Setting an ambitious emission reduction target would boost the UK’s diplomatic drive to persuade other countries to set out ambitious targets of their own.”
He added: “The UK now has the opportunity to spark a global green industrial revolution, but ultimately its credibility will rest on action.”
Net zero means cutting emissions as far as possible, then balancing out any remaining releases by, for example, tree planting.
The government has adopted the new 2035 deadline for a 78% emissions cut because scientists say this is needed to keep the rise in global temperatures close to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
The Romco View
Romco fully supports legislative efforts that promote action on minimising the effects of climate change and prioritise the health of our environment. We welcome the UK Government’s announcement to speed up its plans to cut carbon emissions by 15 years.
Romco is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, committed to operating in alignment with universal sustainability principles and making an impact through the Sustainable Development Goals. Romco’s mission is to reduce global dependence on mining by recycling our way to a sustainable future and our work is aimed directly at reducing carbon emissions in a problematic metals industry.
The UK Government’s announcement will boost the need for recycled aluminium and other non-ferrous metals for the production of electric vehicles, electrification of our economy, expansion of the grid, renewable energy, and more. Romco are proud to be a part of the solution for green economies and are committed to producing low/zero-carbon resources for the expansion of a sustainable eco-system.
It’s become clear that organisations and governments around the world have not done enough to protect the interests of our ecosystems. More governmental action is needed to build sustainable practices into economic growth, enforce drastic reductions in emissions and power usage, and reduce the negative impact industry is having on the world as a whole.