It has been reported that the UK government will accept the recommendations provided by the Climate Change Committee, to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, compared to 1990 levels. The Climate Change Committee is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act 2008. Their main purpose is to advise the UK and the devolved governments on emissions targets, and to report to Parliament on the progress that is being made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
The Climate Change Committee recommendations are regularly referenced in the UK and Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments and assemblies, by both business and industry, in academic publications, by the media and also increasingly, by the public.
The acceptance of the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations has been met with general enthusiasm but there are calls to reinforce the pledge with a strong plan of action. There must be a considerable upskilling to meet the demands of scaling up the installation of renewable heating products, such as heater pumps. Furthermore, there must also be consumer acceptance of these renewable energy sources, which will be key in helping support this government pledge. Consumer engagement should start now, to help increase the general understanding of the essential need for low carbon energy.
Low Carbon Energy in UK:
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to target net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Around 54% of UK electricity generation in 2019 came from low-carbon sources, including 37% from renewables and 20% from wind alone. A record-low 43% was from fossil fuels, with 41% from gas and just 2% from coal, also a record low. In 2010, fossil fuels generated 75% of the total.
Ideas for lowering your carbon footprint:
As a consumer, you can do your part to lower your carbon footprint. Below are a few ideas you may not have thought about:
Stick aluminium foil or reflective panels behind radiators. This reflects heat back into the room rather than being absorbed into walls.
Turn your thermostat down to 18°C and put on an extra jumper.
Buy A-rated electrical appliances.
When using a washing machine ensure there is a full load and turn down the temperature.
Take your phone charger out of the wall. It uses energy even when it’s not charging your phone.
Turn off the tap while cleaning your teeth.
Make sure you defrost your fridge and freezer on a regular basis.
Defrost frozen food in the fridge as this helps to keep it cool as it thaws.
Buy locally produced organic food.
Turn off your computer monitor when you leave the office at the end of the day.