Net-Zero by 2030 is now UK law… But what will it take?
Joe Stratton June 28, 2019
The UK has officially enshrined net-zero by 2030 into law, joining Sweden and Norway as the first countries in the world to do so.
In the midst of the current political climate, it can be easy to miss important steps in the right direction but this is most definitely one of them and it’s important we don’t let it pass without recognition!
Off the back of the CCC net-zero report, the decision has passed through parliament with unanimous support. It seems there is agreement that net-zero is an essential and relevant goal, now it just needs to be backed up with positive policy and outcomes. Let’s hope so!
The UK is not on target, however. We are not expected to meet future carbon budgets or the 80% reduction target that is already in place. This legislation is welcome, but there is a long road of action needed to back it up and we can all contribute.
So how do we get there?
There are various levels of policy action necessary across all sectors but there are 3 key areas across the industry which are all referred to in the CCC net-zero report:
Amongst the current coverage, we hear policy decisions regarding the first two… Whether to build a new Heathrow runway, new potential for green engineering jobs or bans on petrol & diesel cars for example… But what about the third?
It seems regularly overlooked in the conversation and when it is referred to, it is usually generic with no real policy recommendation. Considering the UN has confirmed that over 14% of total global emissions are from animal agriculture, more than transport, it would seem now is the time to discuss how this can be reduced.
The CCC report recommends a conservative 20% reduction in meat consumption required. When we consider this figure at a personal level, this means everybody who eats meat daily, taking at least 1 meat-free day a week. Considering that net-zero is now legislated, it seems a worthy sacrifice to support this move in the right direction.
So regardless of any policy, there is clearly one thing we can all begin to do, and that is – change the way we consume. The growth of plant-based food has shown that people can make commercial differences when they change the way we consume on mass. Go back 10 years… who would have expected Vegan Pizza Hut, Veggie Pret stores and Vegan sausage rolls to be sweeping the nation?
So grab a different sandwich at lunchtime today, have an oat milk coffee or grab a Beyond Burger for your next summer BBQ and let’s hope business and policy continue to follow.
Joe is a 23-year-old Campaigner at ProVeg UK, finding his way in the exciting world of plant-based food. When he can he travels, plays sport and enjoys a craft beer.