Wednesday, September 27, 2006

UK's first climate road map

The UK now has a comprehensive roadmap to a low carbon economy that would deliver on Government commitments to keep temperatures from rising beyond a critical point.

It's contained in a report from The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research published by The Co-operative Bank and Friends of the Earth.

It suggests that a carbon budget of around 4.6 Giga tonnes between 2000 and 2050 would allow the UK to play its part in keeping temperatures from rising two degree centigrade above pre-industrial levels - the danger level. If emissions continue at the current rate the UK would emit close to double this amount by 2050.

It also claims that the UK can achieve the necessary carbon reductions if the Government implements a major programme of action within the next four years. Delaying action will require much more drastic and less manageable cuts. The UK needs to achieve significant emission cuts - of around 70 per cent - within the next 30 years. Government targets of a 60 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 are insufficient as they do not provide for enough reductions within the necessary timescale.

UK carbon emissions have not fallen since 1990. Government calculations which show a decrease are misleading as they fail to take into account emissions from international shipping and aviation. The route map shows what policy framework implemented now will drive the technological solutions necessary to shift smoothly to cleaner energy sources, and the changes to come in daily life as the UK moves to a healthy, low-carbon economy.

The Future Starts Here: The Route to a Low Carbon Economy is an important read.

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