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Net zero by 2050 in UK ‘undeliverable unless clean growth policies introduced’

The Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee has followed the Committee on Climate Change to declare that, while it welcomes the government’s decision to effectively eliminate all carbon emissions by 2050, the current lack of effective government policies in place now means that the target will not be met.

Its latest report: Clean Growth: Technologies for meeting the UK’s emissions reduction targets suggests that urgent action is needed to reverse the current policy trend of cutbacks and slow progress.

The Committee identifies ten key areas in which government policy to support the implementation of low carbon technology has been delayed, cut back or undermined, including: 
  • fuel duty has been frozen for nine years in a row, while bus and train fares have been allowed to increase every year over the same period; 
  • the feed-in tariff for low-carbon power generation was closed; 
  • the Energy Companies Obligation scheme was restricted to vulnerable households in November 2018, despite the government conceding that this would result in lower carbon emissions reductions being achieved; and 
  • onshore wind and large-scale solar power have been excluded from the financial support mechanism available to other renewable power technologies since 2017. 
Against this backdrop, the Committee makes a series of recommendations across different sectors to get the UK ready for net zero by 2050, including: a clearer strategy for decarbonising heat; a new incentive scheme for energy efficiency home improvements; an improved plan for reducing vehicle emissions; and support for onshore wind and solar power.

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