The UK government’s climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), have published yet another very damning report indicating that the UK is not on track to meet its climate targets. This is in addition to the other recent report from the CCC showing that the UK is struggling to keep pace with the impacts of climate change (see our previous blog post).
The CCC says it is absolutely critical that the comprehensive Net Zero Strategy, as well as decarbonisation roadmaps for transport and buildings, are published before the COP26 climate summit, with clear policy plans backed fully by the Treasury. Calls that have recently echoed by the CBI and other business leaders in the UK (see here).
The Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan, published last year, is an “important statement of ambition” but it needs to be backed with firm policies. “With every month of inaction, it is harder for the UK to get on track.”
The CCC is also concerned that the public has not been informed or engaged on the serious climate risks facing the UK and the significant changes that will be needed.
According to the CCC, the UK has the capacity and the resources to respond effectively to these risks, but it has not yet done so. The CCC also says that acting now will be cheaper than waiting to deal with the consequences.
Continued delays by the UK government to back up is climate pledges with detailed policy is yet another spanner in the works as the UK prepares to host COP26 in November. #eggonface. COP26 members are already struggling to agree increased finance to help developing nations combat climate change (see here).
Business leaders and investors elsewhere across the globe have also been pleading for detailed decarbonisation roadmaps. An alliance of more than 70 chief executives wrote to world leaders asking them to be bolder with their climate policies. The open letter from the chief executives, convened by the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, includes signatories from the world’s largest businesses in all major sectors. It calls on world leaders to “help supercharge the net-zero climate and resilience transition” ahead of COP26, arguing that businesses are ready and willing to change in line with stricter climate targets. According to WEF's managing director Dominic Waughray: “It is an important and significant move for this many chief executives to put their names forward for deeper collective collaboration…It sends a clear signal to policymakers that many global business leaders are ready to make the transition to a net-zero future.” The letter from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders coincided with a similar call from more than 450 global investors who collectively manage 37% of global assets (see our previous blog post).
“We are in the decisive decade for tackling climate change. The Government must get real on delivery. Global Britain has to prove that it can lead a global change in how we treat our planet. Get it right and UK action will echo widely. Continue to be slow and timid and the opportunity will slip from our hands. Between now and COP 26 the world will look for delivery, not promises.”