The latest IPCC report is very chilling. We need to move very fast if we are to avoid the worst climate outcomes. So we urgently need to tell politicians that they need to be doing more. Expanding Heathrow, HS2 and supporting fracking are just going in the wrong direction.
Locally, Portsmouth City Council has just unanimously passed a resolution saying we are in a climate emergency.
So it’s time for real action
- Get informed
- Tell key people – MPs, councillors, the press what you think should be done
- Join groups which are campaigning on climate – like FOE, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion
- Join in the student protests
- Look at ways of changing your own lifestyle to cut down on greenhouse gases
There are great ideas in these publications.
The US Green New Deal is getting a lot of attention but the UK had its own Green New Deal in 2008. You can read the ideas here
It’s needs a re-think of course but the new economics foundation is addressing that here. Rebooting the Green New Deal
Britain did take a lead in climate action with the Climate Act 2015 which commits the UK government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.
But how well are we doing?
The Committee on Climate Change was set up to provide independent advice to government on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change.
Its 2018 report showed that
Overall, UK emissions are down 43% compared to the 1990 baseline while the economy has grown significantly over the same period. However most of this is down to excellent progress in reducing emissions from electricity generation, while reductions in other sectors have stalled.
The first carbon budget (2008-12) has been met and the UK is currently on track to outperform the second (2013-17) and third (2018-22) carbon budgets, but is not on track to meet the fourth, which covers the period 2023-27.
Meeting future carbon budgets and the UK’s 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels will require reducing domestic emissions by at least 3% per year. This will require existing progress to be supplemented by more challenging measures.
The committee’s four key messages to Government:
- Support the simple, low-cost options
- Commit to effective regulation and strict enforcement
- End the chopping and changing of policy
- Act now to keep long-term options open