More than 75 major businesses have penned an open letter to Boris Johnson calling for an “ambitious”, legally-binding, interim climate target to support the transition to net-zero by 2050. Coordinated by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and signed by businesses including Unilever, Sky and Tesco, the letter warns that the UK will remain off-track to delivering its long-term climate goals without greater action in the short and medium-term. The UK is already on course to exceed its fifth carbon budget and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) had warned that more action was needed to meet the original Climate Change Act targets – let alone the updated, more ambitious net-zero aim. The CCC will publish the sixth carbon budget, which is the last before the 2050 deadline, later this month, and has warned that it will be the strictest yet.
Edie 1st Dec 2020 read more »
At least one climate group now thinks global CO2 targets might be met. But enthusiasm for the green energy plans of US president-elect Joe Biden has been tempered by scepticism from the US energy industry. The proposal that power generators should reach “net zero” by 2035 is extremely ambitious. So why are their British counterparts pressing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to adopt the same target? Put some of it down to attitudinal differences. Both Royal Dutch Shell and BP have joined the green lobbying effort, while US rival ExxonMobil has doubled down on fossil fuels. Another factor is difficulty. Net zero is a tough target but the UK has less far to go. In 2019, the US obtained 63 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, compared with 43 per cent for the UK. Britain more than halved the carbon intensity of its electricity over a decade to 2017, shifting away from coal towards renewable power.
FT 1st Dec 2020 read more »
Host to the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021, the UK is expected to announce a 2030 climate target ahead of a virtual event it is co-hosting with the UN and France to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The UK has asked world leaders to present tougher commitments on cutting emissions, adapting to climate impacts and providing climate finance at the summit. Only countries that have announced new and ambitious action in 2020 will be given a platform. “And yes, the UK will be setting out its own nationally determined contribution metric ahead of 12 December,” Cop26 president designate and the UK’s business minister Alok Sharma, told an event held by London-based think-tank Green Alliance on Friday. Having previously submitted a joint “nationally determined contribution” (NDC) to Paris as part of the EU, Brexit Britain is now going alone. The timing has given the government a headache. Official advice from the Climate Change Committee was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and is due to land on 9 December – just three days before the summit. The Committee is expected to recommend an emissions reduction target in the high sixties, with sources close to the process discussing cuts of at least 68% from 1990 to 2030. The government is not obliged to adopt the Committee’s number but would have a lot of explaining to do if it went against the independent advice.
Climate Home News 30th Nov 2020 read more »