Pressure needed on carbon targets

Begonia Filgueira | 13 years ago

The Government must come up with new policies to drive the step change needed to cut carbon emissions, David Kennedy, the CEO of the Climate Change Committee [1] will tell members of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) this Thursday (December 1st).

The UK is aiming to achieve an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050 which will cost 1% of GDP. David Kennedy will say that we are on track to make a 60% cut by 2030, by which time 60% of new vehicle sales need to be low carbon. The cut will also be achieved by a mix of cleaner power generation, energy efficiency, behaviour change and jobs in the new, green economy. “The cost is a price worth paying for a brighter future”,  David Kennedy will say.

David Kennedy is giving the annual Garner lecture at global law firm Clifford Chance in London with videolinks to 7 regions around the UK. His lecture coincides with the United Nations Climate Change conference in Durban, South Africa, where the latest international discussions on how to tackle climate change are being held.

Mark Brumwell, the chair of UKELA, said: “this is an excellent opportunity to explore how we can all meet the challenge of meeting carbon reduction targets. The Climate Change Committee is advising on some really key  issues for the climate change agenda –how to include shipping emissions [2] in carbon budgets; whether there should be a Climate Change act for Northern Ireland [3] and how the Welsh  government is meeting its targets (it got high praise for good progress).

The CCC is at the forefront of applying the pressure needed to ensure carbon targets are met and the spotlight on it will be even brighter in 2012 with the Rio plus 20 negotiations which could lead to new international agreements on climate change”.

Nigel Howorth, Global Head of Environment at Clifford Chance said: “Maintaining momentum on climate change action is challenging at a time when priorities in the UK and elsewhere are focused on public debt and getting economies moving.  The work of the Climate Change Committee is crucial to ensuring that effective climate change action is not seen as simply a ‘nice to have’”.

[1] The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the Government on emissions targets, and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

[2] The CCC has said that UK shipping emissions could make up 11% of the carbon emissions allowed under the Climate Change Act by 2050 and that they should be included now in carbon budgets.

[3] Although Northern Ireland is covered by the Climate Change Act it does not have specific  targets or budgets to reduce emissions –  the CCC says it has the opportunity to make 25% cuts by 2020 across a range of sectors if specific legislation is brought in.

About the author

Begonia Filgueira

Begonia is a specialist in Environmental Law, governance and negotiation. Her career now spans 20 years having started as an environmental lawyer in the City. She is a dually qualified UK Solicitor and Spanish Abogada who provides legal advice, trains professionals and carries out complex research in the areas of International and EU environmental law. She also advises on treaty negotiations and implementation of EU law. Begonia has advised UNEP, UNDP, the European Commission, DEFRA and DOENI. She also advises industry and NGOs on environmental policy and regulation. BREXIT negotiations is her current area of specialism.