The UK’s reputation as a leader in addressing the climate crisis has suffered a blow as the Conservative government’s plans to drill for more oil and coal have come to light.
According to a report by the government watchdog, the climate change committee (CCC), the UK’s efforts on climate action have been deemed “worryingly slow.” The CCC states that the country has lost its global leadership position on climate issues, no longer holding the COP presidency and no longer being part of the EU negotiating bloc.
The CCC expressed less confidence in the UK’s ability to meet its carbon-cutting targets compared to a year ago. This comes after the approval of the first new deep coal mine in Cumbria in 30 years in December.
Ironically, the UK had urged other nations to abandon coal and relegate it to history during the COP26 summit in 2022, which it hosted.
However, the CCC highlighted the development of a significant new oilfield off Scotland’s coast, expected to produce approximately 300 million barrels of oil over its lifespan.
The UK is legally obligated to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also pledged to reduce emissions by 68% from 1990 levels by the end of the decade at the 2021 climate conference in Glasgow.
While the CCC acknowledged that greenhouse gas emissions have already decreased by 46% from 1990 levels, it attributed this largely to the transition from coal to electricity.
However, the committee criticized the government’s lack of urgency in meeting the increasingly challenging targets, citing persistent delays.
The CCC called attention to the hesitancy displayed by ministers in taking a leading role on climate issues and stressed the need for greater efforts, including the installation of heat pumps, reduction of meat consumption and air travel, and improvement of home insulation.
Rather than relying on sustainable fuels to reduce carbon emissions, the CCC urged the government to promote reduced air travel among the public. However, numerous airports in the UK are expanding their operations.
The committee emphasized the importance of the UK re-establishing its climate leadership by developing a clearer strategy for net-zero industries and technologies, capturing the economic benefits associated with such initiatives, and fostering demand for critical technologies that will shape the country’s progress in the next decade.
The post UK’s Climate Reputation Takes A Hit As Tory Plans To Drill For More Oil And Coal Emerge appeared first on SurgeZirc UK.