Even ‘climate progressive’ nations, the UK and Sweden are falling short of their international climate targets, according to a report published yesterday (June 16) in the journal Climate Policy.
Researchers at the University of Manchester have said that currently, the UK and Swedish governments emissions pathways will lead to a carbon budget at least two times greater than their fair contribution to delivering on the Paris Agreement’s commitment.
According to the researchers, the annual rate that emissions are expected to be cut is less than half of what is required to keep temperatures below 1.5-2°C.
The scientists have said that the UK must reduce its emissions by a minimum of 10% a year, starting in 2020.
Professor Kevin Anderson, author of the study said: ‘Academics have done an excellent job in understanding and communicating climate science, but the same cannot be said in relation to reducing emissions.
‘Here we have collectively denied the necessary scale of mitigation, running scared of calling for fundamental changes to both our energy system and the lifestyles of high-energy users. Our paper brings this failure into sharp focus.’
John Broderick, an author from the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, added: ‘This work makes clear just how important issues of fairness are when dividing the global carbon budget between wealthier and poorer nations. It also draws attention to how a belief in the delivery of untested technologies has undermined the depth of mitigation required today.’
In related news, earlier this week (15 June), The Climate Coalition and 57 charities, including WWF and Oxfam, sent a letter to Boris Johnson urgently asking him to commit to a green economic recovery plan.
The letter which outlines a seven-point plan that will ensure that the UK meets the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.
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