As the national legislative body, the UK Government has a myriad of opportunities to make a difference, given the political will.
Key issues include the national targets for carbon reduction (which need to be swiftly reached), the use of central funds to subsidise planet-destroying industries rather than planet-saving, and rising populations at home and abroad that will take up more and more resources (over half the UK’s food is currently imported).
There is a mass of detail involved, but only Government can make a real difference in many of these areas – and probably without waiting for the electorate to clamour for such change, as the necessary technical knowledge is not widespread. Good communication is vital at times like the annual Budget and spending reviews.
The UK Government published its net zero strategy “Build Back Greener” in October 2021.
A UK climate change risk assessment is updated every 5 years.
Annual reports are presented to Parliament by the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee.
A comprehensive review of progress to date was carried out by Chris Skidmore MP during Autumn 2022 and published in January 2023.
MITIGATION (examples only):
- Create an energy transformation roadmap for a major and very rapid energy transition to a less energy-intensive future
- Halt the destruction and degradation of critical carbon-accumulating ecosystems like forests, wetlands and grasslands
- Use planning legislation to ensure construction methods and new structures are carbon neutral, and that brownfield land is prioritised for development over green belt which is kept for local amenity, wildlife and food production
ADAPTATION (examples only):
- Encourage regional and local economies and energy production to reduce the impact of commuting and distribution, and support local resilience
- Create economic frameworks for profitable activities to prioritise urgent protection and restoration of natural capital and ecosystem services (including carbon sequestration, flood control, water purification, pollination, disease control)
Canvass international governments to work together to deliver the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the subsequent agreements from COP26 and subsequent conferences.
This page was last updated on 15th February 2023.