Net zero targets ‘threatened’ by UK government plans

Net zero targets

Net zero targets previously agreed by the UK government are under ‘dire’ threat from new plans announced by ministers.

Net zero targets aimed at reducing carbon emissions to reach net zero by 2050 could be derailed by a raft of measures including allowing new oil and gas projects, ‘fracking’, a new tax on renewable energy and lower vehicle emissions rules, campaigners warn.

Leading UK environmental groups including The National Trust, R.S.P.B and the Wildlife Trusts have blasted the UK government’s plans calling them ‘a full-scale attack on nature’ and accuse ministers of trashing efforts to reach net zero targets.

Craig Bennett, ceo of Britain’s Wildlife Trusts, said: “The UK government plans to sweep away over 500 pieces of EU law created over decades that are designed protect the environment. We believe the government has launched a full-scale attack on nature, leaving wildlife unprotected by tearing up some of the most fundamental laws we’ve got.

“New planning laws and ‘investment zones’ announced on Friday 23rd September represent a ‘free-for-all’ on nature by weakening the laws previously in place to protect it from bulldozers and concrete. The new Retained EU Law Bill could also see the end of basic protections.”

Recent plans proposed or announced by the UK government include:

Refusal to broadcast a public energy saving campaign – while regulator Ofgem has urged the public to cut energy usage to save money the UK Prime Minister has opposed plans to advise households how they can save on energy use and costs.

Truss on collision course with Rees-Mogg over solar ban – in a climate of confusion and tension within government the UK Prime Minister says she wants to prevent solar panels being sited on 58 per cent of farmland while business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg says renewables need to be boosted.

Conservative MPs battle to block fracking plans – Some Conservative MPs are in talks with opposition parties to try to block the government’s plans to allow fracking for shale gas.

Government Minister says UK fracking and oil drilling is good for the environment – Graham Stuart has told British MPs that awarding more than 100 licences for North Sea drilling is ‘a green policy.’

Investors have called for clarity on the level of a planned energy windfall tax over government plans to impose a revenue cap on companies that produce power from onshore wind, solar, nuclear and biomass.

Gas-fired generators are set for a winter profits rise – Gas-fired power stations could make profits of more than £10 billion this winter after being spared windfall taxes.

Zero emission car targets at risk of being watered down – Targets for carmakers could be lowered in move that threatens Government pledge to ban petrol and diesel sales by 2030.

Government drops its appeal over net-zero High Court ruling – Jacob Rees-Mogg has dropped plans to appeal against a UK court ruling that found government’s plan to reach net zero was unlawful.

While the UK government appears to sweep away hard-won environmental protections, global wildlife populations continue to be decimated. Wildlife populations have plummeted by 69 per cent since 1970, according to the WWF Living Planet Report 2022.

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