Some lingering concerns
There is a lot of positive news about UK targets. If we meet them, and can persuade the rest of the world to follow suit, we could bring emissions down to the lowest modelled emission scenario. We do have a strong government department in place now to help guide and drive us to meet our emissions targets, and there are good plans to help us do this. But we haven't tested ourselves yet.
- UK emissions have reduced but have not had to put a lot of effort in to achieve this. For example, our switch to gas as a more efficient fuel for electricity generation allowed demand to grow, whilst reducing CO2 emissions.
- The recent recession will have reduced our emissions but they are likely to bounce back with the recovery. This is a particular worry if public pressure demands that we focus on the economy at the expense of the environment.
- It wont be long before we have to start demanding public behavioural change as part of the effort to meet our targets. It still seems that we have some way to go to convince people to change their lifestyles. The lack of evidence showing behavioural change can be seen in our Embedded Emissions.
- I also worry that cuts in public sector finance will mean that there are fewer, skilled experts in government departments who are helping us to find solutions to the climate change problem.
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