18 June 2019
Theresa May recently sought agreement from parliament to commit the UK to a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050, as recommended by the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change. More recently, John McDonnell announced he was consulting on Labour plans to aim for a 2030 net zero date. Gloucester Green Party welcomes proposals to enshrine in UK law a target of achieving zero carbon emissions, however we believe a commitment to 2030 or earlier needs to be made now, in order to realign our fiscal and social priorities at the beginning of 2020.
The government’s planned legislation, albeit a move in the right direction, is hampered by the notion that it must sit within current political and financial constraints. The government’s timescale attempts to ease the financial impact, but completely fails to deliver net-zero carbon emissions in time to stave off catastrophe.
The example set by Government is having a negative influence on local councils. Gloucestershire County Council, along with many others, has committed to deliver a carbon neutral county by 2050, and to work towards an 80% reduction by 2030. This target is largely a reflection of the government’s approach, falling short of what is required to avoid threat to our survival.
Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas has highlighted that, if implemented correctly, new legislation could provide a framework for policy development that will support cheaper public transport, properly insulated homes, better local quality food, incentives for developing green spaces and ecological business opportunities.
This new legislation could have been an important step forward, for social, financial, and environmental realignment to ensure we respond quickly and appropriately to the climate emergency facing us today. The Green Party, both here in Gloucester and across the country, will seek to drive this agenda forward, with a focus on achieving a more appropriate timeframe for our commitment to net-zero carbon