Govt responds to EAC and CCC over net zero policies
After announcing plans to weaken a number of green policies last month, the government has today issued a response to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which requested further information about the how the changes will impact on the UK’s climate targets. The government has also issued a response to the annual progress report published by its independent climate advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), in June.
Responding to the news, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner, Danny Gross, said:
“No matter how it tries to spin it, the fact remains that the UK government is well off track for meeting both its legally-binding sixth carbon budget and its international pledge to cut emissions by two thirds by 2030.
“Tougher action, such as a comprehensive home-insulation programme, is urgently needed to make up for the shortfall. But with Rishi Sunak’s recent preference for weakening green commitments, the prospects are far from encouraging.
“Ministers mustn’t be allowed to shirk their duty to act on the climate crisis. We are already taking the government to court next year over its climate strategy and are prepared to take further legal action if its revised policies fall short of what is required.
“Accelerating the transition to a carbon-free future isn’t just good for the environment, it will also bring huge economic benefits with new jobs, cheaper bills and increased energy security.”
The UK government has a legally-binding target to decarbonise the economy by 2050 – with legally-binding carbon budgets set to ensure this goal is reached. The government has also made a separate pledge internationally to cut its emissions by 68% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, as its contribution to the global effort to tackle the climate crisis.
- Earlier this year the government’s Carbon Budget Delivery Plan admitted that its quantified proposals and policies will only meet 92% of its 2030 international pledge. However, this is likely a big overestimate as earlier this month, the Climate Change Committee, found the government now only has credible plans for less than 30% of the emissions cuts needed to meet the 2030 target.
- Friends of the Earth is already taking the government to court – along with ClientEarth and Good Law Project over its latest climate plan – the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, published in April this year. The case is due to be hard next year: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/high-court-hear-legal-challenges-governments-climate-plans
- Friends of the Earth has also written to the government to find out what impact the government’s recent climate policy revisions will have on our current litigation. We will carefully scrutinise any new set of plans. We stand ready to take further legal action if Mr Sunak’s sums don’t add up: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/climate-friends-earth-writes-government-lawyers