Climate Change is here today.
Global average temperature has already risen by around 1°C since pre-industrial levels and climate risks are increasingly apparent. Based on current trends, we must consider adaptation strategies for a minimum of 2°C and up to 4°C.
In line with the Paris Agreement, the UK has legislated to become the first major economy to set a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. Other countries such as France, New Zealand and Sweden have moved to adopt net-zero targets of their own, while still more like the EU are considering them for the future. So how is the UK doing? According to the UK's Committee on Climate Change's 2019 Progress report, the UK met its first (2008-12) and second carbon budgets (2013-17) and is on track to meet the third (2018-22). However, the UK is not on track to meet the fourth (2023-27) nor the fifth (2028-32) carbon budgets. Since June 2018, Government has delivered only one of twenty-five critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track. Cities and other Local Authorities have a key role to play in meeting these targets.
At the time the July 2019 progress report was published, more than half the UK’s principal local authorities had declared a climate emergency, making it one of the fastest growing environmental movements in recent history, and the first country in the world to reach this landmark. Although many Councils have already started delivering on their declarations such as switching to renewable energy, insulating existing homes and building more efficient new stock, planting trees and decarbonising transport, there is still a lot more to do. Businesses also have a key role to play in tackling climate change, whether it be reducing emissions in their own operations or by providing the solutions and innovation required. An increasing number of large companies are issuing plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 or even earlier - the key is that SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses) are also supported to play their part.
This also applies to providing solutions and being part of the turnover generated in the UK low carbon and renewable energy economy which was estimated to be £46.7 billion in 2018 versus £40.4 billion in 2015
Crystal Associates can support you with your climate emergency response. Find out more here