The once-bold UK has begun to look like a climate laggard
The UK, once a climate champion, is now jeopardizing its global standing by failing to meet climate targets and lacking leadership in tackling the climate crisis, according to the UK's Climate Change Committee. Delays in policy development and implementation, as well as a narrow approach to solutions, are cited as reasons for the country's failure. The committee warns that urgent action is needed to quadruple emissions reduction outside the electricity supply sector. The UK risks falling behind other major economies in green investment and market share if it does not act quickly.
Once upon a time, the UK was a climate champion, setting the pace in tackling the world’s most urgent crisis. But the current administration is squandering that lead and putting Britain’s global standing at risk as others move ahead with bold economy-shaping climate policies. It’ll soon be too late to make up lost ground. There are plenty of past successes to be proud of: The Climate Change Act, passed by parliament in 2008 by a big cross-party majority, was revolutionary— the first legally binding mitigation target set by a country. In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to enshrine a net-zero emissions commitment in law. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, the UK laid out an ambitious intermediary target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030, to align with the Paris temperature goal of no more than 1.5° C of warming.