Charles Appleby, of Saving Our Planet, give his thoughts on the next step for Net Zero

The UK Government commitment to Net Zero Greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is very welcome.

This higher commitment by the UK Government is an important first step by a major economy towards tackling the global Climate Emergency. This the right thing to do morally, and the only decision that stands a chance of protecting the future of our children and future generations.

Much further work is required internationally: by national governments, local governments, businesses and individuals across the world in order to limit global warming to the 1.5C, as recommended by the IPCC. 

But here is the work still required by the UK Government:

  • Emissions could be cut by 40 percent in just over a decade by the introduction of Carbon Fee and Dividend. Please could all parties give this detailed consideration for early implementation both in the UK and all major economies.
  • To achieve Net Zero earlier, ideally, than 2050
  • To monitor progress against this commitment, at least annually, to ensure the UK keeps on track to meet the 2050 target, and by meeting milestones, particularly for 2030
  • To ensure this commitment is not diluted at the 5 year review point
  • The UK Government needs now to work to get others countries to make a similar – or stronger – higher commitment, particularly the EU and other of the 19 countries in the Carbon Neutrality Coalition
  • The UK Govt must also work with UNFCCC to encourage other major countries also to make a higher commitment
  • As reductions in CO2 emissions begin to be achieved, it is critically important that these translate into real reductions in the use of fossil fuels – so it is critical for governments to find effective ways to restrict fossil fuels from being taken out of the ground.
  • Measures need to be put in place to ensure UK industries do not face unfair competition from overseas companies operating under less strict CO2 emissions regulations
  • It is important that the UK achieves Net Zero without using International Carbon Credits
  • Instead, tree-planting and other nature-based solutions to climate change should not be used to remove ADDITIONAL amounts of CO2 emissions.
  • As part of early quick wins for this policy of Net Zero emissions, the UK Government needs urgently now to stop fracking and to stop coal mining in the UK
  • The UK should also look to remove subsidies on fossil fuels – and to use this money towards the cost of transition to a low-carbon economy