New modelling shows UK’s path to net zero emissions by 2045

21st November 2018

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Ian Stanton

It is scientifically possible for the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, new modelling commissioned by the WWF has revealed, but urgent climate ambition is needed now.

In a report published today, the NGO demonstrates how the UK will need to speed up emission cuts across transport, power and buildings if it is to achieve the 2045 target.

It also highlights how collaboration between countries on aviation will be key, with 95% of emissions attributed to the UK from the sector deriving from international flights.

Ed Matthew, coordinator of the Net-Zero Campaign for The Climate Coalition, said the report offers a “beacon of hope” after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of catastrophic dangers should global warming hit 2˚C.

“This report provides robust, independent evidence showing that the UK can reach net-zero emissions by 2045,” he continued.

“There is a pathway for total decarbonisation which is feasible, fast and packed full of economic opportunity – if the UK government commits to this goal, we can inspire the world to follow.”

Net zero is defined in the WWF report as cutting greenhouse emissions to as little as possible, and then removing the rest through methods such as planting trees.

The NGO has revealed that the UK will need to cut emissions deeper and faster across the economy to achieve this by 2045, while dietary shifts away from red and processed meat will also need to continue.

For aviation, it is estimated that a regional agreement across Europe, along with cooperation with Japan, the US and Australia, could feasibly stop 10-15 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere..

The findings are derived from groundbreaking modeling by economic consultancy Vivid Economics, and come after the WWF found that climate change is a growing threat to wildlife populations, which have fallen 60% since 1970.

“The good news is, we now know that what needs to be done, can be done,” WWF head of climate change, Gareth Redmond-King, said “Cutting the UK’s emissions by 2045 is an opportunity for the UK to show global leadership.

“We must take the first step towards this by committing to end our contribution to climate change as soon as possible. Our report shows that we can do this by 2045.”

Image credit: Shutterstock


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