The UK is ‘seriously off-track’ to reaching net zero by 2050

Dustin Benton, Policy Director at Green Alliance, said the country is around 20% above where it needs to be by 2030 in emissions terms

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The UK is seriously off track to reaching net zero by 2050.

That’s the suggestion from Dustin Benton, Policy Director at Green Alliance, who spoke to future Net Zero at the organisation’s ‘Countdown to COP’ event in London earlier this month.

He said the country is around 20% above where it needs to be by 2030 in emissions terms – he noted it is not only possible to bring this down and get the UK back on track this year but stressed it is absolutely vital to do so considering the UK is hosting COP26 and needs to set a strong example of global leadership.

Mr Benton noted France spent two years preparing for COP21 and added as the UK only has around nine months left until its own conference, it will “need to sprint” in order to make sure it is ready on time.

The Policy Director suggests the nation can get back on track by bringing forward the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, better insulating the UK’s homes, protecting and rebuilding natural resources such as woodland and peatland, allowing onshore wind and solar to compete for power contracts and enabling industry to become more circular.

Advising businesses on what actions to take, he added: “The key thing is to move your money, stop investing in the dirty stuff, start investing in the clean stuff and continue to ramp up that investment.

“If we do that we will start an economic transition the likes of which we’ve already seen in the power sector – clean energy’s now cheaper than dirty energy, that’s brilliant, we’re seeing it happen in cars where EVs are beginning to beat petrol and diesel on price, we need to see it all across the economy.”