Under the terms of a new government plan, greenhouse gas emissions will be cut to almost zero by 2050 to tackle climate change in a clean energy drive.The UK already has a target to plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was agreed by government MPs under the Climate Change Act. But, this is now to be amended to achieve a much tougher goal. To accomplish this, emissions from transport, homes, agriculture and industrial industries have to be avoided entirely. This commitment would make the UK the first member of the G7 group to legislate for zero greenhouse emissions.
How Will This Affect People?
If the government approach this clean energy revolution by making technology improvements, then this new commitment will go unnoticed by the majority of people in the UK. However, if government MPs decide to restrict flying or meat-eating, then this will be met with some severe opposition by consumers. The same would also happen if people were to get hydrogen central heating instead of gas or if they were required to switch from petrol cars to electric ones. But, the one thing that is for sure is that this new commitment needs funding, and that needs to come from somewhere. The exact cost hasn’t been stated at this point, but Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned that the cost could amount to £1 trillion. However, acting energy minister Chris Skidmore said that the cost of this commitment would amount to between 1 and 2% of the UK’s GDP which is the cost that was factored into the previous 80% reduction target. However, one way the government could economically drive this is to incentivise onshore and offshore wind turbines, solar projects and invest in battery technologies to store harnessed energy more effectively.
What Issues Stand in The Way of This Commitment?
There is no denying that this commitment is a monumental task to achieve. But, the UK is in fact already slipping away from achieving the existing goal of an 80% reduction by 2050. One of the biggest issues that affects this commitment from becoming a reality is getting homeowners on board. Together with supplying clean energy to homes as national gas is phased out. Teresa May has also said that the commitment needs to be reviewed in five years’ time to assess whether other countries are taking similar actions to combat climate change. This will undoubtedly prove an issue if US President Donald Trump is still in the White House. Additionally, the green group Extinction Rebellion who have received a lot of press recently have warned that climate change is happening so fast that the 2050 target is in fact too late.