The Government has been strongly criticised for its lack of action on climate change by its own independent advisers, who warned that global warming was “happening, not waiting” and it was “neither justifiable nor wise to delay further”. While the UK has been at the forefront of the world’s efforts to combat the risks from the rising temperatures, the Committee on Climate Change – chaired by former Conservative Cabinet Minister John Gummer, now Lord Deben – said there was now a “risk of stalling” just when the economy was poised to take advantage of the shift to a low-carbon economy. A new Clean Growth Plan setting out how Britain will cut carbon emissions in the late 2020s and early 2030s was now “urgently needed”. Such a plan was legally required to be published as soon as possible after the Government announced new targets last year, but is not now expected until September. One leading environmentalist said the CCC’s report raised a “very serious red flag” about Ministers’ inaction, while the Government admitted “there is a need to do more”. Claire Perry, the newly appointed Climate Change Minister, told Parliament this week that she wanted the Clean Growth Plan to be “as ambitious, robust and clear” as possible, describing the document as “vitally important”. The CCC’s report said many existing Government policies were “running out” and new ones were needed. It recommended a string of different measures including policies to boost electric vehicle ownership, which the report said should make up around 60 per cent of new car and van sales by 2030. To achieve those targets, the Government needed to provide some financial support, preferential tax rates and ensure the “effective roll-out of charging infrastructure”. Other measures included helping to develop a carbon capture and storage system, looking for ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere, having a contingency plan to delays to planned project – “for example of new nuclear power plants” – and the tight regulation of fracking operations to ensure a rapid response to leaks.
Independent 29th June 2017 read more »
The government must reverse its opposition to new building regulations that ensure homes, hospitals and schools do not overheat as the number of deadly heatwaves rises, according to its official climate change advisers. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommended the new regulations in 2015 but ministers rejected the advice, citing a commitment to “reduce net regulation on homebuilders”. Without action, the number of people dying as a result of heat is expected to more than triple to 7,000 a year by 2040, the CCC warns in its annual report on the UK’s pr ogress on tackling global warming. Earlier in June, Britain experienced its longest period with temperatures above 30C since 1976. Heatwaves are known killers in the UK and the number of hot days is rising. On the hottest day of the year in 2016 there were almost 400 extra deaths, while a heatwave in 2006 led to 680 people dying and another in 2003 contributed to the deaths of about 2,000 people.
Guardian 29th June 2017 read more »
Climate Change Committee 29th June 2017 read more »