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News 9 August 2021

IPCC warns governments are not on track to meet climate change targets

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today published its Sixth Assessment Report, assessing the latest scientific knowledge on climate change.

Commenting on the report, Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) comprehensive report raises the alarm on the need for immediate action to avoid the point of irreversible climate damage.

“In the most significant intervention since the previous major report in 2013, the IPCC makes it clear that governments from around the world are not on track to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) and that much more needs to be done.

“With the eyes of the world on the UK as we build up to COP26 in November, the UK Government must now show real leadership by recommitting to delivering a greener recovery. The UK Government has set some of the most ambitious climate pledges of any major economy in the world.

“The upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy, Net Zero Strategy and Treasury Spending Review will provide the practical steps to reduce carbon emissions and must ensure a fair and equitable transition to net zero. Greener ways of doing things, which currently feel unobtainable or undesirable for many people, must be made affordable and attractive.

“The climate emergency is with us now and the clock is ticking. We must act now to decisively change the trajectory of global carbon emissions and keep the rise in temperatures well below the 2°C Paris Agreement target, ideally to 1.5°C.

“Recent analysis from the Climate Change Committee (CCC) shows that the changes we need to make in the UK remain achievable – and will also bring wide-ranging benefits. For example, the costs of upgrading existing housing stock, to improve insulation and provide low carbon heating, will be more than outweighed by the lower energy bills achieved.

“We all stand to benefit from a low carbon future and must all play our part in achieving this goal. However, government has to lead the sustained change across society. It is crucial that the upcoming policy milestones set out the detail to drive behaviour change alongside business innovation and investment.

“The transition to a greener, healthier, and more resilient future is a necessity, not an option. Today’s IPCC report emphasises that there is really no time to lose. We must act now.”

The IPCC’s report will inform policymakers about the science behind climate change, and is an important resource for society, domestic policymaking and global climate negotiations including COP26, which is taking place later this year in Glasgow.

Find out more about Energy Saving Trust’s asks ahead of the global climate event on our COP26 campaign page.

Last updated: 24 August 2021