June 23, 2024

There is a problem with implementation

London. The face of London changed dramatically last summer. Where the lush green lawns used to give the city freshness, the lawns in the many parks have dried up and turned yellow. This was due to the heat wave which had gripped the city and large parts of England in its grip and was greatly exacerbated. It was more than 40 degrees. Experts agree: climate change is making the weather in Great Britain more extreme. The same can be expected for this year.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Indeed, the UK recognized the urgency of the climate crisis early on. As early as 2008, there was a broad consensus in the British Parliament on the “UK Climate Change Act”, the world’s first climate protection law with ambitious targets and an independent watchdog. In June 2019, the law was expanded to include the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. According to it, climate-damaging gases must be removed from the atmosphere as much as they are emitted. Former Prime Minister Theresa May said at the time that waiting was not an option.

Presiding over the 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in 2021 has prompted former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson to spell out how the country intends to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. He portrayed Britain as a leader in protecting the planet. It should become the “Saudi Arabia of wind energy,” he said, and appealed to the international community in urgent terms: “It’s one minute to midnight and we must act now.”

Read more after the announcement

Climate protection beyond energy security

While the ideas of implementing targets on the island had not been very concrete until then, Russia’s attack on Ukraine in particular changed the position of the conservatives. Since then, energy security has replaced climate neutrality as the top priority, stresses Francis McGowan, professor of political science at the University of Sussex. “The government’s strategy envisages continued dependence on fossil fuels, albeit in a decreasing fashion over the coming decades.”

Heat Emergency in Great Britain: Burning in London

In southwest England, thermometers showed a new record high of 40 degrees Celsius, according to the UK’s Met Service.

Experts primarily criticize the fact that under the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, exploration and development of new oil and gas wells in the North Sea will continue to be approved. The Committee on Climate Change has emphasized that with current plans, net zero is unlikely to be achieved by 2050.

Since buildings in Great Britain are very old due to early industrialization, the country lags behind in terms of energy efficiency. “On average, homes lose heat three times faster than those in the rest of Europe,” explains Salvador Asha of Imperial College London. The government has launched programs to improve the balance sheet, but these offers are being accepted too little and too slowly, the Panel on Climate Change criticized in a report.

Read more after the announcement

However, prospects are better in some areas. According to experts, this is especially true of the goal set by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that all electricity should come from clean sources by 2035. All this is supported by wind energy. The British are the world leaders in offshore facilities at sea. The country operates the largest wind farm ever: Hornsea 2. In 2021, about 25 percent of the island’s electricity is generated this way.

So Great Britain continues to push forward with climate targets faster than many other countries. This applies, for example, to the transition to electric vehicles. From 2030, new cars and trucks powered exclusively by petrol and diesel will no longer be sold on the island. The Climate Action Tracker, which compares international actions and targets, recently rated UK climate policy as “almost adequate”. Germany is rated “inadequate”.