UK told to put green issues at heart of post-pandemic recovery

Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging action on climate

These are considered urgent steps that must be taken in the months ahead to initiate a green, resilient Covid-19 recovery.

The CCC key findings included strengthening energy networks with offshore wind expected to play a major role.

On Thursday, the UK's Committee on Climate Change released its progress report. The steps that the United Kingdom takes to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic can accelerate the transition to a successful and low-carbon economy and improve our climate resilience.

"We have a chance, now, to change direction towards a green economy, our Government must wake up and do it". The CCC said it wanted to see measures that would transform low-carbon heating from a "niche market" to "the dominant form of new heating installation by the early 2030s". For the first time, the Committee sets out its recommendations government department by government department.

"If we are to emerge successfully from COVID-19 there is only one route, and that route is one which enables us also to fight climate change", the chair of the Committee on Climate Change, John Gummer, said in a press briefing.

The study also said ships powered by liquefied natural gas would not support a transition to zero Carbon dioxide emissions and could increase the sector's climate impact when the full life-cycle, including super-cooling the gas for shipment, is taken into account.

"We have warned frequently that the United kingdom is poorly ready for the extremely serious impacts of local climate improve, like flooding, overheating and drinking water shortages".

Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging for action to be taken on climate change during their socially distanced protest on Forres' High Street
UK Gov't Advised to Harness Pandemic to Speed Zero-carbon Aims

Ed Miliband, Labour's shadow business secretary, said: "This report serves as a stark reminder of the gap between rhetoric and reality when it comes to the government's progress on achieving the net-zero emissions target enshrined in law this past year. The UK has the potential to become a world leader in this technology, bringing thousands of jobs and significant investment and playing a key part in enabling the green recovery from Covid-19".

"We're nearly at the point where you can envision an energy system based on renewables, especially wind, and no one blinks when you say it". The UK's homes are notoriously draughty and badly insulated.

Campaigners say inaction will lead to the death of millions of people and the letter urges Dr Fox to speak out about the Government's failings. "This is a clear win-win opportunity which must be seized".

Speaking about the measures in the report directed at improving efficiency in domiciles, Jess Ralston, analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: "For time, it's been obvious that the UK's building stock is not up to the net-zero standard and throughout the pandemic, our homes are becoming more essential than ever". The net-zero economy will require a net-zero workforce.

Those should include retrofitting homes and buildings to make them more energy-efficient, which would provide work in all regions, it noted, as well as strengthening the electricity supply network to support increased use of renewable power. In December of this year the Committee will give its recommendations on United Kingdom emissions for the period 2033-37 after which the government will legislate with new Climate Change Act targets.

"According to the report, the government has made only "partial" progress on transport, which is not surprising, as the Department for Transport has gone rogue on climate change". They do however shine a light on the areas that need critical attention if we are to succeed in achieving the net-zero targets.


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