The UK emissions have fallen 43% since 1990! That is hugely impressive, but there is a problem. Housing and car companies have not made similar progress, and without these large carbon emitters pulling their weight progress will slow dramatically, and make future reductions difficult if not impossible. This analysis is from governmental climate advisors. Indeed these reports say the housing and car industries should be embarrassed by their lack of progress in this regard.
It is of significant note that the government seems to have significantly taken their eye off the target on reducing carbon emissions since the last election, in terms of largely killing off the solar industry and more recently the Swansea bay tidal lagoon, as well as the expansion of Heathrow.
The area of car pollution and home pollution are currently addressable, and at times the government had supported it.
The government is likely to be able to fix much of this with three changes.
- Commit to ceasing production of petrol and diesel cars sooner – they have said 2040, but this is many car cycles. Bring it back to 2030 and it will supercharge this transfer. 22 years away is perhaps after 3 car replacement cycles, 12 is one and a half cycles so would focus car companies in making desirable affordable cars in the next decade
- Bring back subsidies for solar. Work with the government to set this up in a more competitive way. Perhaps work with Insolight to help bring affordable solar panels with twice the efficiency to market quicker, and stop electricity companies control of the electricity grid being used to halt viable home solar being affordable (require closer to market rate for electricity sold on, or allow home to home electricity sale).
- Bring more funding to help insulate houses with loft and wall insulation.
These three policies would not be expensive compared to some of the other government projects. Furthermore all being people driven, given the right government campaigns, it would likely accelerate these changes, which is what we need.