Smart Transport

Government calls for action to cut global emissions

Alok Sharma

The UK is calling for urgent global action in response to a UN report that has revealed that the planet has warmed more than previously estimated.

The report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warns that climate change is already affecting every region globally, and that without urgent action, heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and loss of Arctic Sea ice, snow cover and permafrost, will increase while carbon sinks will become less effective at slowing the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The report highlights that cutting global emissions to net zero by mid-century would 'give a good chance' of limiting global warming to 1.5C in the long-term and help to avoid the ‘worst effects’ of climate change.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today’s report makes for sobering reading, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of our planet.

“We know what must be done to limit global warming – consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline.

“The UK is leading the way, decarbonising our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades.

“I hope today’s IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now, before we meet in Glasgow in November for the critical COP26 summit.”

The Government said COP26 president Alok Sharma (pictured) has been negotiating with governments and businesses to increase global climate ambition and take immediate action to help halve global emissions in the next decade and reach net zero emissions by mid-century to keep the 1.5C goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

'UK is showing leadership'

According to government, the UK is showing leadership with plans to reduce its emissions by 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, leading to net zero by 2050.

It said, more than 70% of the world’s economy is now covered by a net zero target – up from 30% when the UK took over as incoming COP Presidency, whilst May saw the establishment of the first net zero G7, with all countries coming forward with 2030 emission reduction targets.

Some progress has been made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 - more than 85 new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to 2030, representing over 110 parties, have been submitted to set out how countries will cut their emissions and address the climate crisis.

In a meeting with scientists today (June 9) Sharma will encourage countries that have not already done so, to urgently submit new or updated NDCs with their plans for ambitious climate action ahead of the COP26 summit later this year in Glasgow, particularly all major economies of the G20 who are responsible for over 80% of global emissions.

In response to the report, Sharma said: “The science is clear, the impacts of the climate crisis can be seen around the world and if we don’t act now, we will continue to see the worst effects impact lives, livelihoods and natural habitats.

“Our message to every country, government, business and part of society is simple. The next decade is decisive, follow the science and embrace your responsibility to keep the goal of 1.5C alive.

“We can do this together, by coming forward with ambitious 2030 emission reduction targets and long-term strategies with a pathway to net zero by the middle of the century, and taking action now to end coal power, accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, tackle deforestation and reduce methane emissions.”

Our next event: Exploring the roadmap to decarbonising transport by 2050

During a transformational time for transport, the sector must align investment and policy in response to ongoing decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, as well as changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Smart Transport Conference, the UK's leading transport and mobility meeting, is returning to the etc.venues County Hall, London, on 30th November 2021.

We’ll be exploring the decarbonisation of the UK transport and mobility sector, discussing the challenges we face and our role in the battle against the climate crisis. 

We've just released our draft agenda, highlighting our keynote and breakout session topics, as well as the leading industry experts who you'll get to hear from, live and in-person, this November. 

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