The government’s own advisers today warned that it is not going far enough in the battle against global warming.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said ministers may be left with egg on their face if they host the UN’s next climate change conference without getting their own house in order.
It is a “get real moment” for the government, Chris Stark, the CCC’s chief executive told reporters.
His committee, whose net-zero emissions target was put into law last month, said ministers now had to push for action.
Britain has “not yet increased the policy ambition to match” its lofty legislation, Stark warned.
Britain is favourite to hold the UN’s Cop26 climate change conference next year. It agreed a partnership with main rival Italy last month.
UK must mitigate against warming
The committee also warned that plans are needed to mitigate temperatures as high as four degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Today 20 per cent of UK homes are prone to overheating, putting the most vulnerable at risk during heat waves.
“The government can’t ignore us,” said CCC chair Lord Deben, “there will come a moment in which they have so far not carried through the necessary measures that … they could be taken to court.”
Businesses fail on emissions
It comes as an investor group holding $14 trillion (£11 trillion) in assets called on companies to do more.
The Transition Pathway Initiative, whose members include the Church of England and the Environment Agency Pension Fund, said only one in eight businesses had cut emissions enough to keep global warming below two degrees.
Meanwhile 25 per cent of companies are not reporting emissions.
CCC boss Stark stressed the government needs climate change policies which benefit companies as the “heavy lifting will be done by businesses”.
We need to do more, Attenborough tells MPs
Yesterday naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough today told MPs they need to take action on climate change.
“We are dependent upon the natural world for every breath of air we take, and every mouthful of food we eat. But it’s even more than that. We also depend on it for our sanity and our sense of proportion,” he said.