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HomeThink-TanksPolicies Stuck in Consultation Jeopardize UK's Climate Targets, Think Tank Warns

Policies Stuck in Consultation Jeopardize UK’s Climate Targets, Think Tank Warns


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Analysis conducted by think tank Green Alliance reveals that a significant portion of the UK Government’s emission reduction goals, required to meet legally binding climate targets by 2032, are currently hindered by policies stuck in consultation. Despite the release of a detailed plan, known as The Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, in March, concerns remain regarding the government’s ability to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.


Critical Need for Credible Proposal:

Green Alliance highlights that the government still lacks a credible proposal to attain the ambitious net zero target by 2050, despite covering 85% of emissions reductions required for the fifth carbon budget period until 2032.

Startlingly, confirmed policies only account for 35% of emissions cuts, while 21% rely on policy promises, according to the analysis.

The think tank emphasizes that nearly one-third (29%) of the necessary reductions are contingent on policies currently under consultation

Policies in Consultation:

The think tank emphasizes that nearly one-third (29%) of the necessary reductions are contingent on policies currently under consultation, raising concerns over the timely implementation of crucial measures.

The upcoming general election expected next year underscores the urgency for moving key policies through the consultation stage quickly and effectively.

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Challenges and Delayed Progress:

Green Alliance attributes the frequent delays and limitations in consultations to political turmoil and the reorganization of government departments responsible for decarbonization. It warns that excluding expert input and curbing public engagement can lead to less effective policy-making processes and hinder progress towards meeting climate milestones.


Key Policies Under Scrutiny:

One notable policy under consultation is the Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate, which holds immense potential for substantial emissions savings. However, the final consultation for this mandate has experienced repeated delays, casting uncertainty over its planned introduction in January 2024.

Additionally, the clean heat market mechanism, also known as the “heat pump mandate,” is progressing sluggishly following the recent closure of its consultation on June 8.

This stagnation raises concerns about the UK’s ability to lead in climate action while falling short of its own targets.

Stagnation in Progress:

Green Alliance’s analysis indicates a regression in the government’s plans, as the previous Net Zero Strategy covered 87% of the required emission reductions compared to the current Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, which covers 85%.

This stagnation raises concerns about the UK’s ability to lead in climate action while falling short of its own targets.


Call for a Clear and Transparent Plan:

Sophie O’Connell, a policy adviser at Green Alliance, stresses the importance of a clear and transparent plan that outlines how emissions will be reduced.

Such a plan would enable individuals and industries to prepare for the necessary changes ahead and hold the government accountable to its climate commitments.


Government’s Response:

A government spokesperson acknowledges the long-term nature of the transition and assures that the proposed proposals and policies will be phased in over the next 14 years.


The UK Government faces challenges in meeting its climate targets as a significant portion of emissions reductions remains dependent on policies stuck in consultation.

Green Alliance’s analysis underscores the urgent need for progress, credible proposals, and inclusive policy-making processes to ensure effective climate action and maintain the UK’s leadership in addressing the global climate crisis.

News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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