Advancing the UK’s ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2032 – three years earlier than planned – is among urgent measures government must take to tackle climate change, the government’s top science advisors warned ministers today.
Government support in greenlighting shovel-ready, labour-intensive power projects, upgrading energy networks, home insulation and green skills, plus promoting hydrogen and storage technologies, are required now said the Committee on Climate Change.
The committee’s ‘bumper edition’ of measures builds on its letter last month to Boris Johnson, outlining its principles for a post-Covid recovery.
Today’s annual report spells out steps needed, department by department, in no uncertain terms.
In transport, the ICE sales ban by 2032 must be strengthened with a tailored Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate, setting yearly targets for the share of new carbon-free vehicles. Charging infrastructure must be nurtured, including for owners restricted to on-street charging. Zero emissions HGVs must be trialled to identify technologies best suited for the UK.
For the first time, aviation and shipping emissions must be factored into the UK’s carbon budget. By 2022, all UK airlines must set a Net Zero deadline for 2050, and internal flight operators earlier.
In energy, the power system must decarbonise to 50g CO2/kWh by 2030, backed by at least 40GW of offshore wind, the committee urges.
On-shore wind and big solar should be supported by ‘a clear timetable of regular auctions’, in the committee’s words. Green generators have pushed for CfD bidding rounds every six months.
Beis funding measures to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects must be finalised this year, the committee urges, if industrial clusters are to run viable projects by the mid 2020s.
A hydrogen strategy should be published by spring 2021 covering storage, heat generation and infrastructure conversion.
Across central and local government, Net Zero must remain a core goal, says the CCC. All policies must show how they might adapt to a 4-degree rise by 2100 on 1990 levels.
Committee chair, Lord Deben, says ministers must turn the post Covid-19 recovery into a defining moment in the fight against climate change.
“Although a limited number of steps have been taken over the past year to support the transition to a net-zero economy… much remains to be done”.
Read the committee’s report here.