Sir Patrick Vallance says 2050 ‘a long way off’

He is calling for short-term scientific targets to keep the UK on track

The UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said that changing way we view our net zero target can make it more achievable.

“The risk of 2050 is it sounds a long way off,” he said at a lecture in Edinburgh.

“You haven’t got more than five years or so to actually get this right and make some decisions about what you want to do if you’re going to scale those things sufficiently to be ubiquitous by 2050.”

Setting closer targets and ensuring all of these are science-based will be critical to ensuring we have made sufficient progress by 2050, he stressed.

He added that ensuring scientific and industrial bases continually evolve to fit what the country needs is also imperative.

“If you think about the scaling of the implementation challenge and you take something like replacing all domestic heating or making sure that our houses are properly insulated or coming up with an alternative to cement and concrete, or making that carbon-natural, by 2050, you’ve got to start very soon.”

Incremental aims on curbing emissions will show the true progress, he warned.

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