The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is calling for the creation of a clear and urgent Climate Emergency Action Plan, more ambitious targets, and funding and support for training programmes that will help the UK to roll out solutions at the scale and speed required.
CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain project coordinator, Paul Allen, responded to the UK's commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and said: “Early, effective action on climate change is vital – we cannot afford to wait.
"A target date of 2040 or earlier would show real global leadership whilst taking responsibility for our historic emissions and helping deliver climate justice."
Allen continued: “Given the urgency of the environmental crisis and the dire consequences if the world doesn’t reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with much of the reduction needed in the next 11 years, the UK has a global responsibility to be bold and ambitious.
“CAT is calling on the UK and devolved governments to create a Climate Emergency Action Plan targeting 2040 at the latest, detailing how this will be achieved, and including binding, ambitious interim targets.
"This plan must cover all emissions, including those from imported goods as well as international aviation and shipping, and should not rely on offsetting emissions.
“The solutions to the crisis already exist. CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain research project has shown how we could achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions using technology available today.
"What’s needed is the political and social will to make change happen. We need strong government policy and financial support to achieve the transition.
“By powering down energy demand from buildings and transport, powering up our clean energy supplies through investment in renewables, and by transforming diets and land-use, we can balance supply and demand and reach net-zero emissions.
“What’s more, we can do this in ways that improve public health, alleviate fuel poverty, restore habitats, and provide more wild space for nature to flourish, whilst creating over a million green jobs.
“The Committee on Climate Change has highlighted that a lack of skills in low and zero carbon solutions is one of the key barriers to change.
"CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment and associated training courses provide many of the essential skills, with over 1,500 people having graduated with degrees in sustainable solutions and thousands more having been trained through our renewable energy installers courses.
"These skills need to be made available to many more people as we scale up our response to the climate emergency.
“We can turn this around – but we need a radical climate emergency action plan, and we need to start now.”
This article is based on a press release from the Centre for Alternative Technology.