UK Climate change panel calls for immediate action to address adverse effects
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that the UK needs to take urgent action to prepare for the adverse effects of climate change.
Looking at the government's action in preparing for heat waves and flood, the panel called for more immediate measures for adaptation besides mitigation. The panel led by chairmen Lord Deben and Lord Krebs said more needs to be done to keep emissions on track. The committee was set up under the Climate Change Act to act in an advisory role and produce the report to assess previous policies and give its projections. Lord Krebs said: "By the 2050s the sort of heatwaves we might experience in the next few days will be the norm, a typical summer."
Decisions on decarbonisation must be taken immediately to provide companies with time to invest, added Deben. In the light of the recent decision to stop onshore wind farm subsidies that would add £1bn ($1.5bn) a year to bills in procuring offshore energy, the panel called upon the government to explain how climate targets and energy needs would be met. Onshore wind has become one of the cheapest sources, but the government announced it would end subsidies from April 2016, after protests from countryside residents. "This [end of subsidies to onshore wind] is a political step by the government, and it is perfectly reasonable for them to do – as long as they are prepared to allow people to know what the cost is going to be, and what they are going to do instead [to meet climate targets]," said Lord Deben, the chairman of the committee on climate change. Among top recommendations of the panel are: to extend funding for low-carbon electricity generation to 2025; agree an action plan that delivers low-carbon heat and energy efficiency for heating homes; continue support for efficient, low-emission vehicles; develop new infrastructure that is resilient to climate change impacts, and to act to preserve the fertility and organic content of soils for farmland productivity. The Department of Energy and
Climate Change has reiterated that the government was committed to meeting its climate change target of an 80% emissions reduction by 2050. The EU promises to cut by 2030 its carbon emissions by at least 40% of 1990 levels. The CCC has suggested Britain must aim at bringing its emissions rate down to 50 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (gCO2/kWh) by 2030.
The rate remained well above in six possible scenarios studied by Imperial College London. Power generation from coal remains a major carbon emitter in all scenarios. Most of UK's power plants fired by coal are old and inefficient, ranking among the top carbon emissions in Europe.
Source: The IB Times