The Labour party looks to a zero carbon Britain

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Ed Miliband has echoed key aspects of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB) report at the annual Labour conference in Brighton. He stated that “the environment is a passion of mine” before announcing: “Labour will have a world leading commitment in government to take all of the carbon out of our energy by 2030. A route map to one million new green jobs in our country. That is how we win the race to the top.”

CAT’s report Zero Carbon Britain: Rethinking the Future highlights the widespread environmental and economic benefits of a rapid decarbonisation for the UK by 2030. CAT launched the report in July in recognition of the fact that the UK’s current decarbonisation targets are not ambitious enough in the face of global climate change. The report demonstrates that we have all we need to create a modern, zero carbon UK now. We can decarbonise rapidly and we needn’t rely on any promises of future technological developments.

The ZCB team in Parliament for the launch of the report

The ZCB report calculates that a greener economy could create up to 1.5 million new jobs in the UK, a figure adopted in the recent Green New Deal report.

On the eve of the launch of the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is clear that more needs to be done to mitigate manmade climate change. CAT’s  Zero Carbon Britain report shows that responding to the urgency of the climate challenge is not only completely possible, but would be beneficial to the UK. It is good to see that policy circles are catching up.

Paul Allen, the ZCB project co-ordinator says: “it is good to hear that Mr Miliband sees himself as part of ‘the first generation to get the challenge of climate change, rather than the last generation not to get it’ – it is now vital all parties work together to build the political consensus that will lead to rapid action, we are confident that by exploring realistic future scenarios CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain work can play a part in this.”

The Labour Party’s pledge to decarbonise the UK’s energy system is a move in the right direction if the UK is going to meet its legally binding targets. However, there are other areas in need to be addressed, including greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, waste processing and industry. It will be interesting to see whether any of the political parties start talking about these emissions when discussing climate solutions.

For more information and to download the report for free visit: www.zerocarbonbritain.org