New tracker to judge effectiveness of UK’s policies and investments to cut carbon

The Green Alliance warns the UK is off track in meeting its fourth and fifth carbon budgets and will struggle to reach its 2050 net zero goal with current policies

A new tracker that aims to hold government to account on its carbon cutting actions ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November has been launched.

Think tank Green Alliance’s ‘policy tracker’ will run through the year to judge the effectiveness of the government’s policies and spending pledges announced in 2020 towards meeting its set targets.

It warns the UK is off track in meeting its fourth and fifth carbon budgets – between 2023 and 2032 – and will struggle to reach its 2050 net zero goal with current policies.

It found a reduction of at least 313MtCO2 equivalent over the fifth carbon budget period – 2028-2032 – will have to be taken this year for the UK to be on track to meet its net zero goals.

The tracker highlights the government is currently spending only £16.75 billion of the £42 billion a year for the next three years which is said to be needed to tackle the climate and nature emergencies – a gap of £25.25 billion a year.

Green Alliance has identified five policies it believes would cut enough carbon to get the UK on track to meeting the net zero goal.

They include bringing forward the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2030, providing at least £1 billion a year of additional funding for a home energy efficiency programme and introducing new incentives for better product design and reuse.

The think tank also suggests opening up new routes to market for onshore wind and solar power and planting more than 27,000 trees ever year, restoring peatlands and wetlands and managing soil better.

Paul McNamee, Head of Politics at Green Alliance said: “The 2020 climate summit is a massive opportunity for the government of the UK to showcase its leadership to the world on the most pressing issue of our time. This policy tracker will test whether the government can stand up at the end of the year and say it is taking the necessary action and leading by example.

“2020 has to be the year we see a huge step change in effective measures if legal targets are not to be missed and for the UK to kick start a decade of transformational climate action.”

ELN has contacted BEIS for a statement.

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