The CCC has advised ministers to nudge people towards greener lifestyle choices, including flying less, cycling more and eating less meat.
Britons should eat the equivalent of one less burger a week, cycle rather than drive, and get a heat pump for their home if the UK is to hit its ambitious Net Zero pledge. That is the conclusion of the government’s advisers on tackling climate change, who warned current plans will not deliver on legal targets to cut emissions in the coming decades.
The independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) revealed its recommendations in its annual report to Parliament on the progress being made to address Britain’s contribution to global warming. It is concerned the government is relying too much on technological advances and biomass production to meet carbon reduction targets.
The annual report said UK greenhouse gases are now almost half (47 per cent) their 1990 levels, with emissions rising 4 per cent in 2021 as the economy began to recover from Covid-19 but still 10 per cent below 2019 levels.
In its 619 page report, the CCC advises ministers pay more attention to behavioural changes by nudging people towards greener lifestyle choices.These include cycling more, flying less and eating less meat so that land can be used to plant trees of biomass.
It also proposed encouraging a 20 per cent shift away from meat by 2030, which would then rise to 35 per cent by 2050. On top of that is the recommendation to drive a 20 per cent shift away from dairy products by the end of the decade.
An average person eats about 604g of meat per week, down from 756g in 2019. They also consume roughly 1,600g of dairy a week. Cutting meat intake by 20 per cent would be the equivalent of 120g – roughly that of a standard burger patty, chicken Drumstick or two-thirds of a fillet steak. It could also, in theory, be the equivalent of someone who eats meat every day going completely meat-free at least once per week.
When it comes to flying, the CCC suggests reversing the cut to air passenger duty brought in last year, as well as introducing other taxes and frequent flyer levies to encourage people not to travel by plane so much. ‘The price of flying should be raised to the point that it acts as an effective signal to consumers that aviation has high emissions costs,’ the report states.
Of 50 key areas for action, only eight were given the green light for being clearly on track to deliver the necessary emissions cuts, including electric car sales, wind and solar power, and meat consumption. Areas judged to be significantly off track include electric van sales, charging points, energy efficiency retrofits, new woodland creation, and peat restoration.
There is also a ‘shocking’ gap in government efforts to ensure homes are better insulated in the face of soaring energy bills, the climate advisers said. They singled out energy efficiency to make UK homes less leaky and cheaper to heat, along with a lack of action on farming emissions, as particular problem areas.
Advisers also warned that the public are increasingly concerned about climate change but people are not sure how they can best take action, with greater engagement needed.
Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk