How Britain plans to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050

Only ten days before the opening of COP26, of which it is the host, the Johnson government finally made public, Tuesday, October 19, its strategy to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. It has been a year since the industry and NGOs have been waiting for this detailed roadmap, since the British Prime Minister published, in November 2020, a “Ten point plan” intended to meet the 2050 target, which is singularly lacking in detail.

Some £ 620million (€ 734million) will go towards bonuses on the purchase of electric cars and the expansion of the charging station network in the country, with London having already announced in 2020 that the sale of New petrol or diesel cars would be banned from 2030. A research fund for ‘zero carbon’ technologies will be matched with an additional £ 500 million, with £ 120 million going to the “Nuclear research”, which should work on the technologies of small modular reactors, and another 124 million for reforestation, with the objective of replanting 30,000 hectares of wood per year and restoring 280,000 hectares of peat by 2050.

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Finally, Downing Street announced almost £ 4 billion to increase the energy efficiency of buildings – rather very poor in the country – and reduce their emissions, with a bounty of £ 5,000 for the purchase of an electric boiler – the British homes are mainly equipped with gas boilers.

Non-binding measures

The goal is to “Secure 440,000 new jobs and generate £ 90 billion in investment by 2030”, while reducing the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and strengthening its energy security, said Boris Johnson. “Our path to reducing our contribution to global warming will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions of investments and flourishing green technologies”, added the leader, faithful to his willful and ultra-optimistic style, assuring that his country would “Show the example to the rest of the world” just a few days from the climate summit.

It is true that the United Kingdom was the first country to include in its law the target of carbon neutrality by 2050 – this was in 2019, as part of the Climate Change Act, a text that the ex-Prime Minister Theresa May had then passed. It is also true that the Johnson government has shown itself to be very ambitious by raising, at the beginning of the year, to 78% its objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 (compared to the level of ‘1990 emissions).

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How Britain plans to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050