The Lib Dems have pledged to restore the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on “day one” of government, as part of sweeping plans to ensure “tackling the climate emergency is at the heart of government”. The commitment would feature in the Lib Dem manifesto alongside a raft of new climate change policies designed to deliver on the Party’s goal of transitioning the UK to net zero emissions by 2045 – five years earlier than the current government’s plans.
Business Green 11th Nov 2019 read more »
A RECENT poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of campaign group Green New Deal UK, has shown that 56 per cent of the public support ambitious climate targets to decarbonise by 2030 or earlier. This means that a majority of voters are on board with the target agreed as part of Labour’s socialist Green New Deal at Labour Party Conference 2019: net-zero emissions by 2030. The motion was proposed by the Fire Brigades Union, supported by unions including Unite and Unison and came after 126 constituency parties submitted a version of Labour for a Green New Deal’s model motion. GMB circulated a briefing against the net-zero 2030 target to Labour MPs. It repeated unsubstantiated claims, also made in the media, that legislating for net-zero by 2030 means undesirable consequences including the state rationing of meat, job losses and restricted ability to fund public services. In reality, the framework of the Green New Deal would guarantee secure, unionised work for every worker in every transition industry and massively expand the provision of public services.
Morning Star 11th Nov 2019 read more »
Green issues have shot up the main parties’ agenda as they judge that voters are increasingly concerned about the environment. Just over half (54 per cent) of people said that climate change would influence the way they vote in the election, a survey last month found. The proportion rose to 74 per cent among people under 25, suggesting that parties with strong policies on the climate will score well in the youth vote, according to the Opinium poll of more than 2,000 people commissioned by the environmental campaign group ClientEarth. Fracking risked being a vote loser for the Conservatives, with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledging to ban the controversial method of extracting shale gas. Early in the election campaign the government announced a moratorium, citing the industry’s difficulty in predicting earth tremors.
Times 12th Nov 2019 read more »
UK targets to cut carbon emissions fall well short of what is needed to help limit global warming to 1.5C – as do those of the other 19 of the world’s 20 biggest economies, a new study finds. If the country is to do its bit to meet the global target in the Paris Agreement, emissions need to fall to 143 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030, the report finds. But under the emissions target it has set, the country will still be producing 352 million tonnes at that point, it finds. “The UK continues to provide millions of pounds of government subsidies into oil and gas production,”
iNews 11th Nov 2019 read more »
The UK is on track to overshoot on a whole range of environmental targets in the early 2020s, including many that are legally binding and come from the EU, according to an analysis by Unearthed and the FT. In a decade that saw David Cameron promise to lead “the greenest government ever” and Theresa May pledge to “leave the environment in a better state than we found it”, and Boris Johnson promise to “do extraordinary things on the environment”, the data tells a different story. The analysis of performance against existing targets comes amidst uncertainty over the future of the UK’s environmental regulation. The UK’s success in reducing emissions from coal power is well documented but in other areas of the economy the UK is actually behind the curve. For example, it has a target from the EU to produce 15% of its energy – electricity, heat and transport – through renewables by 2020. According to Dave Reay, professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, the UK is exceeding its specific electricity target, which is to generate 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, thanks to its progress on offshore wind. But when it comes to the overall target, however, the latest figures show that only 11% of the UK’s energy was produced through renewables in 2018. This figure has grown by around one percentage point every year since 2014, so the government will need to double its rate of progress if it is to hit its target. Possibly more crucially, the UK is set to miss two upcoming carbon budgets. These budgets, part of a system established in 2008, are legally binding limits on the net amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted in the UK over a series of four-year periods. According to the government’s own analysis from earlier this year, the UK will meet its budget for 2018-22, but will miss targets for the following two periods. Prof Reay told Unearthed: “To put us back on track, we would need some really far-reaching changes, right across government. And at the moment, we’ve got little bits around the edges as far as I can see. So we’re not on track to meet those.”
Unearthed 12th Nov 2019 read more »