You may remember that, way back in 2008, MPs set a target under the ‘Climate Change Act’ of cutting emissions by 80% before 2050. It has now been announced that the target is getting even tougher, with an aim of cutting emissions to ‘net zero’ by the same year.
What exactly does ‘net zero’ mean? It means that all emissions from homes, farms, traffic and etc will have to be completely avoided or, where that isn’t possible, must be offset by activities such as planting trees. Whilst many countries have already pledged to go carbon-neutral, the new target makes the UK the first major economy to fully commit to becoming carbon-neutral by law and the announcement has been met with praise from various climate change groups.
The government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change have said that, if other countries join the UK in this change, there’s a 50-50 chance of keeping the earth below the recommend rise of 1.5C by 2100. According to experts, any change above and beyond 1.5C would constitute dangerous climate change.
Obviously, the aim of going completely carbon-neutral brings with it a host of changes when it comes to the cars that we drive. There’s already a plan to ban all new petrol and diesel sales by 2040 but the new target will see even more pressure placed on manufacturers to create electric and hybrid vehicles.
The target will also place additional pressure on infrastructure development as it is now even more important for the UK to be ready for the increase of electric vehicle charging. Thanks to schemes from the likes of BP Chargemaster and Ionity however, developments in this area are looking evermore promising.
Speaking of the new target Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented:
“The transition in markets and manufacturing capabilities, however, needs to be managed carefully.
“Achieving the government’s target requires significant investment in infrastructure, long term consumer incentives and further policies and financial commitments that encourage drivers into new vehicles and technologies”.