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How to Get to Net Zero

7-13 Feb 2020

Author(s): Ray Monk, Ruth Buckley Salmon

In: New Statesman, 2020, pp. 33-37

After surveying the scope of the problems caused by climate change, the article provides a useful critique of the UK government's approach to fulfilling its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, drawing on points made by the UK Committee on Climate Change (the independent statutory body set up in 2008 under the Climate Change Act). The authors conclude that so far the government has failed to make definite plans for housing and heating, industrial emissions, carbon capture and storage, agriculture, aviation and shipping. The article notes also the excessive reliance on electric vehicles to solve road transport emissions, as this could create a dangerous demand for relatively rare minerals like cobalt and lead to new ecological problems. The authors point to the potential of hydrogen fuel cells, but they also argue for simply reducing car use.