The Greening Government Committee has created new climate change targets for the period 2021-2025
With the push behind the highly-anticipated COP26 and climate science dominating the thoughts of policy-makers across the globe, the Government itself is also held to a standard of green functioning.
A new UN Report finds that global warming, if not reduced in eight years, will soar irreversibly. This paper also finds that currently, only 12% of emissions will be decreased by existing climate agreements from various countries.
The Greening Government Commitments set out the actions UK government departments and their agencies will take to reduce their impacts on the environment. Now, a new climate framework will replace the pre-existing 2016-2020 framework.
The new policy paper proposes that Government departments reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a 2017 to 2018 baseline. It further suggests that the departments also reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions from estate and operations from a 2017 to 2018 baseline, set in agreement with individual departments.
Some more key changes:
- changing the target baseline year from 2009 to 2010 to 2017 to 2018, to more accurately reflect the current government estate and ensure government builds on the progress it has already achieved since 2009 to 2010
- setting more stretching targets on the core areas of emissions, water, waste and domestic flights, and introducing new measures on biodiversity, climate adaptation and food waste
- integrating the transparent reporting requirements into the core GGC targets for biodiversity and climate adaptation
- reorganising the targets into headline commitments and sub-commitments, so that departments can commit to common overall objectives, with sub-commitments which contribute to the overall aims
UN Secretary General António Guterres, said: “We need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities.”
Released 9 August, 2021, the report took eight years to compile and collates global scientific observations on climate change – with a substantial policy recommendation section.
The IPCC report is expected to form the crux of climate change policy globally. However, the new documents reveal contradictory opinions on these recommendations, via a set of editorial suggestions made by different countries.