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UK revises their ‘net zero’ plan, will other countries follow suit?

This week, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has eased the ban on ICE vehicle sales by five years while remaining steadfast in their ‘net zero by 2050’ commitment – it makes for an interesting read and begs the question ‘will other countries ease a little too?’ 

In their media statement:

The Prime Minister vows to take forward a pragmatic, proportionate and realistic path to reach net zero by 2050, reducing costs on British families while still meeting international commitments.

The UK has set the most ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels – and is the only major economy to have set a target of 77% for 2035.  

This follows progress over the past decades to cut emissions faster than any other G7 country, with the UK having already slashed emissions by 48%, compared to 41% in Germany, 23% in France and no change at all in the United States. The UK has even surpassed the targets most countries have set for 2030, such as Australia, Canada, Japan and the US, and overdelivered on all its previous targets to date.

Thanks to this progress already made, reaching the UK’s 2030 and 2035 targets do not have to come at the expense of British citizens who are continuing to face higher costs of living – particularly as the UK’s share of global emissions is less than 1%.

This means some measures that were planned are no longer needed to fulfil them.

The Prime Minister has made clear that the plans to meet net zero will only succeed if public support is maintained or we risk losing the agenda altogether, unable to meet our goals.

The UK will remain the country with the most ambitious, stringent de-carbonisation targets in the world even after these changes are made.

Under revised plans, the Government will – Move back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years, so all sales of new cars from 2035 will be zero emission. This will enable families to wait to take advantage of falling prices over the coming decade if they wish to.

Rule out policy ideas that would require people to share cars, eat less meat and dairy, be taxed to discourage their flying, or have seven bins to hit recycling targets – removing worrying proposals that would interfere in the way people live their lives.

These changes will not require the UK to change or abandon its upcoming emissions targets and the Prime Minister is unequivocal that we’ll meet our international agreements including the critical promises in Paris and Glasgow to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “This country is proud to be a world leader in reaching Net Zero by 2050. But we simply won’t achieve it unless we change. We’ll now have a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach that eases the burdens on families. All while doubling down on the new green industries of the future. In a democracy, that’s the only realistic path to Net Zero.

“We are going to change the way our politics works. We are going to make different decisions. We will not take the easy way out. There will be resistance – and we will meet it. Because I am determined to change our country and build a better future for our children. Nothing less is acceptable.”

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