Cutbacks and slow progress on policies to tackle climate change must be urgently reversed if the UK is to meet its new legally-binding net zero target, MPs say
The target to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero overall by 2050 was passed into law earlier this year - but MPs warn it will not be met without new policies to boost clean growth.
The Commons Science and Technology Committee pointed to a number of areas where Government policy to support bringing in low-carbon tech had been delayed, cut back or had undermined emissions reductions.
They include cuts to grants for low emissions cars, the freezing of fuel duty while train and bus fares have risen and the restriction and removal of policies to improve the energy efficiency of homes, a report by the MPs said.
Chairman Norman Lamb said the Government was not putting in place the policies needed to meet its climate targets, with the UK currently not on track to meet its goals into the 2030s, let alone net zero.
He said the Government had to put words into actions, adding: “We heard of cutbacks in various programmes and slow progress, which are incompatible with the UK’s two upcoming, legally binding, carbon budgets - this is unacceptable. If governments across the world fail to act, it will have dire consequences for the environment and generations to come.”
Meeting the target requires efforts to cut carbon emissions from heating systems, improve home energy efficiency, tackle vehicle pollution, support onshore wind and solar power and sustain nuclear power without growing the industry, the report said.