Stronger national carbon target must be backed by clear-cut policies
This week, Boris Johnson has made a positive step towards a greener future for the UK by agreeing to enshrine a new carbon target to reduce our national emissions by 78% by 2035, vs 1990, into law.
This week, Boris Johnson has made a positive step towards a greener future for the UK by agreeing to enshrine a new carbon target to reduce our national emissions by 78% by 2035, vs 1990, into law. However, he must now help businesses to play their part in achieving the UK’s ambitious targets by providing clear policies.
The new target has been put in place in response to the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC’s) Sixth Carbon Budget, in which the CCC advised that the UK will need to reduce its emissions by at least 78% by 2035 in order to meet its net-zero by 2050 target. It follows the strengthening of our 2030 goal, which the Prime Minister increased to a 68% reduction in emissions by 2030 (based on 2019 levels) late last year.
For the first time, the goal will include the UK’s emissions from international aviation and shipping – previous targets have only accounted for emissions created within the UK borders. It is hoped that world leaders will follow suit in strengthening their own carbon targets ahead of the COP26 Climate Summit in November, with speculation that President Biden is set to announce a new target to cut US emissions by up to 53% by 2030 and that the Australian government will finally adopt a net-zero target. Currently, the UK’s new 2035 target is the most ambitious decarbonisation target in the world.
Achieving an ambitious carbon target
At Inspired, we understand the urgency of the climate crisis and we welcome the new target for 2035. It’s an ambitious target, but we believe that it’s achievable as long as the Government provides businesses with the support they need to plan for and move towards a cleaner future. This will require the Government to put clear policies in place around net-zero and provide financial signals to help businesses to implement decarbonisation measures, particularly as new research has highlighted that only 25% organisations understand how to meet current net-zero targets.
This year, we hope to see a number of key policies announced, as the UK is set to host COP26 in Glasgow in November. The long-awaited Net-Zero Strategy is set to be published before this event takes place, along with the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Transportation Decarbonisation Plan. We therefore hope that the Government implements a clear policy framework around these strategies, which should help businesses to plot a clear route to net-zero.
Don’t delay decarbonisation plans
You don’t need to wait for further Government policies to be put in place to take action towards net-zero – with the help of Inspired’s experts, you can build and implement a net-zero strategy for your business with total confidence. Our net-zero specialists have in-depth insight into the energy industry and they’re constantly scanning the horizon to identify new opportunities for sustainability-focused businesses, so they can guide you at every stage of your net-zero journey.
Why not get started by building a high-level net-zero plan for your business today? Head over to our Net-Zero hub to try out our online net-zero plan builder – you just need to answer a few simple questions and we’ll send you a clear, custom guide to help you meet your net-zero goals.