The Climate Change Committee has called for the Government to demonstrate greater ambition to achieve the measures outlined in the Glasgow Climate agreement signed at COP26.

The UK’s climate watchdog has called on the UK Government to deliver a “genuine increase in ambition” to reach the measures detailed in the new Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26, The criticism targets new emissions targets, improving international collaboration and utilising the taxation system to drive down the use of fossil fuels.

The statement issued by the CCC provides suggestions on reaching a legally binding net-zero emissions target with a joined up approach to the cross-departmental drives to bring the country to its target by 2050.

The agreement states that nations should strive to align their net zero targets with the 1.5C temperature pathway and devise and report on planned Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) before the commencement of COP27 in Egypt later in 2022. The agreement specifically targets the phasing down of unabated fossil fuels including removing all subsidies.

The Chairman of the CCC, Lord Deben, has said that: “The UK must not walk away after COP26. Glasgow was a step forward in global efforts to address climate change, including a genuine increase in ambition to reduce emissions worldwide. We also saw important technical advances, with new rules agreed for reporting emissions and on international carbon trading, and multiple initiatives and sector deals. This is real and welcome progress, but success depends on what happens now.

“The next year is critical for climate action in the UK and internationally. At home, we need to walk the talk and urgently deliver actions in the Net Zero Strategy. Globally, the UK must continue to encourage stronger action on climate and insist on rapid emissions reductions and stronger adaptation through all diplomatic channels. The ultimate success of the Glasgow Climate Pact will be measured by climate risks averted, not words on a page.”

Given that the world is currently on target for 2.7C with the Paris Agreement commitments only likely to reduce this to 2.1C, the CCC is pushing the UK Government to continue what it started at COP26 and use its current presidency position to deliver its commitments and work internationally to lead the world to deliver emissions reductions in line with scientific targets over the coming years.

Following the publication of the Net-Zero Strategy, the Government has yet to share any sector specific targets required or any plans to reduce emissions associated to agriculture. The CCC is calling for stronger commitments and legally binding targets to drive change.

The CCC will continue to monitor the progress of the Government’s plans and will publish its comprehensive assessment of progress in the summer of 2022.

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