CCC publishes sixth carbon budget

11th December 2020


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Christina Katara

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has this week published its sixth carbon budget for 2033 to 2037, along with a roadmap towards net-zero emissions for the whole of the UK by 2050.

The latest publications detail how Britain's greenhouse gas emissions must fall by almost 80% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, which was the UK's 2050 aspiration just 18 months ago.

This will require significant investment, largely by the private sector, according to the CCC, which explained how all UK energy production must be net zero by 2030, along with every new vehicle and replacement boiler.

However, the government advisors also revealed that the cost of delivering net zero has fallen to less that 1% of GDP over the next 30 years due to the falling cost of offshore wind and cheap low-carbon solutions in every sector.

This comes after scientists revealed that global net-zero emission commitments could bring the goals of the Paris Agreement within striking distance“.

IEMA chief executive, Sarah Mukherjee, said: “Totting up pledges gives a reason for hope that at last a corner has been turned, but without action this will be a false dawn.

“Industry by industry, sector by sector work is underway to transform how business is done. Sustainability professionals are at the heart of this transformation to sustainability, and IEMA is there to provide insight and access to good practice.“

IEMA has published a new report outlining what is needed to meet the challenges of transitioning to net zero, which updates its widely used Greenhouse Gas Management Hierarchy.

The focus on optimum carbon reductions remains, but the severity of the climate emergency warrants an escalation of action across all fronts, with a sense of urgency driven by sustainability professionals.

Good practice should continue to see carbon reduction targets addressed separately from compensation measures. Carbon offsetting can help and contribute to a status of current 'carbon neutrality', but this should not obscure the imperative for clear and transparent carbon reduction targets, milestones and actions.

Report author and IEMA's policy and engagement Lead, Nick Blyth, said: 'We know from IEMA members' experience that a range of carbon-reduction measures are available and are being deployed.

“Pathways to net zero need to be tailored to the organisational context. Focus, relevance, transparent approaches and, especially, professional skills are all fundamental to a successful outcome.“

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