Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK Must Try Harder to Cut Its Emissions; Efforts Must Triple to Meet 2050 Target

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK Must Try Harder to Cut Its Emissions; Efforts Must Triple to Meet 2050 Target

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Beament

THE UK needs to triple its efforts towards cutting emissions and moving to a low-carbon economy by 2050, a report has warned.

The Climate Policy Tracker for the European Union by wildlife charity WWF and innovation company Ecofys reveals that EU countries on average are doing only a third of what is needed to cut emissions by between 80% and 95% by mid-century. The report examines all EU countries on areas such as tr ansport, buildings and renewables, giving them an overall grade of between A and G, and reveals the UK scores only an "E" rating.

The grade means the UK is doing only a third of what is necessary to put the economy on track towards massively slashing greenhouse gases by 2050.

While the country is awarded a "best in class" B rating for its Climate Change Act, which was the first legislation in the world to set legally binding long-term targets for cutting emissions, the report says the UK lags behind other countries in a number of its climate policies.

According to the report, the UK trails behind Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden on the overall steps it is taking to cut its emissions and move to a low-carbon economy.

The four best countries receive only a D rating, meaning they still need to double their efforts to put them on track to cutting emissions by the amount needed.

Many countries lag even further behind, being given an F rating.

The study suggests the UK is being outstripped by countries including Denmark and Germany on renewables, by Ireland on energy efficiency and by France and the Czech Republic on cutting emissions associated with buildings.

According to the analysis, the UK is not providing enough financial support for combined heat and power schemes, or sufficient incentives for low-emission cars.

While the country's incoming zero-carbon standards for new homes are "unique" in Europe, they are not supplemented by support for existing buildings.

And there are still significant barriers to increasing the amount of renewable electricity in the country, including problems with grid access and the planning system. …

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