The Paris Climate Change Agreement: What it means for the UK
With climate change becoming an increasingly pressing issue, the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015 was a game-changing moment for environmental policy. It was a landmark agreement between 196 countries, aimed at limiting global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
As one of the signatories to the agreement, the UK has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and to reach net-zero by 2050. This is an ambitious target, but one that is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
The UK`s commitment to the Paris Agreement is reflected in its domestic climate change policy. In 2019, the government passed legislation to enshrine the net-zero target in law, making the UK the first major economy to do so. The UK has also set out a number of policies and measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, including:
– Investing in renewable energy: The government has set a target of generating 40GW of offshore wind power by 2030, and has committed £12 billion to support the development of new wind farms.
– Phasing out coal: The UK has committed to phasing out unabated coal power plants by 2025, and has already closed a number of coal-fired power stations.
– Improving energy efficiency: The government has introduced a range of measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including the Green Homes Grant scheme.
– Encouraging low-carbon transport: The UK has set a target of phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and has introduced incentives for electric vehicle ownership.
The UK`s progress towards meeting its Paris Agreement targets will be closely monitored by the international community. The government is required to submit regular reports to the United Nations on its emissions reduction progress, and to update its emissions reduction targets every five years.
The Paris Climate Change Agreement is a crucial framework for global action on climate change, and the UK`s commitment to it is a positive step towards a sustainable future. However, much more needs to be done to address the urgent challenge of climate change. All individuals and businesses have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the planet for future generations.