UK climate panel sets big goals: less meat, electric cars


"The challenge to Parliament and government is: You can do it".

The CCC report says that the United Kingdom can become a global leader in cutting greenhouse gasses.

And he said: "We started the industrial revolution, we have been responsible for the biggest segment of the climate change that is happening in our world today".

Commenting on the report, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, said: "The UK's AD industry fully supports the Committee on Climate Change's call for net zero emissions by 2050, which is a vital target to ensure we avoid the worst effects of climate change".

"A policy gap, however, now exists to bring forward new power generation technologies in the 2020's".

A ban on sending biodegradable waste to landfill is already set to be introduced in Scotland on 1 January 2021, and is a key strand of the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan, published in 2010.

CCC Chief Executive Chris Stark told journalists the law could be in place before global climate talks in Chile at the end of the year since there was cross-party consensus in Britain on the need to act.

"On onshore wind, on electric vehicles, on carbon capture and storage, and on a range of other transport and energy areas such as energy efficiency, the government needs to up its game and come forward with the policies, actions, and regulations needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050".

"We welcome the advice today, not least because it urges that we reach net-zero emissions without the use of worldwide offsets".

Wind turbines: Will be much more prevalent off the shore of the United Kingdom - and possibly on the land as well.

Such an increase would mean between 540 and 645TWh of low carbon power on the system, a significant leap from the 155TWh the United Kingdom boasts today.

Critical to the CCC's net zero target is an accelerated decarbonisation of the power sector.

"We can, and we must, end our contribution to climate change".

However, Green MSP Mark Ruskell said this was not ambitious enough. "A more decentralised energy system will make the UK's homes and businesses more carbon efficient, smarter by putting the customer in control, enabling households to save hundreds of pounds every year, whilst also making them more comfortable".

The overriding message from the report is that the United Kingdom absolutely can transition to a net zero economy by 2050, but it can only set that as an attainable target if the government is serious and prepared to put into place the required policy to do so.

He said: "The world's scientists have told us that every additional half-degree of warming really matters".

"Simply reducing numbers in the Scottish red meat sector would have a massive economic impact on agriculture and more importantly the wider economy, but also export the responsibility to nations with a poorer record on climate change". "A roughly fifty-fifty chance of exceeding 1.5°C is worse odds than Russian roulette".

Mike Foster, CEO, the Energy and Utilities Alliance said; "The gas boiler is not the enemy in the fight against climate change but an ally". Read edie's full definition of "net-zero carbon" here.

He added: "The gas infrastructure is already in place for almost nine out of 10 homes, through our world-leading gas network".