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Expert comment: Government's plan for 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

The Prime Minister has today, the 4th December announced an ambitious new emissions target setting the UK on the path to net zero by 2050, leading the way in tackling climate change globally. The new plan aims for at least 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, compared to 1990 levels.

The UK has also committed to reducing emissions by the fastest rate of any major economy, ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit later this month, this target follows the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to create and support 250,000 jobs whilst helping to eradicate our contribution to climate change.

Professor Dave Greenwood, CEO WMG centre HVM Catapult and Director of Industrial Engagement comments on the announcement:

"Today’s announcement, alongside the previously announced Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, shows that the UK intends to take a leading role in decarbonisation, and to reinvigorate our economy in doing so. Delivering this will not be easy, but this clear and consistent policy is an essential first step.

"The decarbonisation of the transport sector will be a major contributor to delivering on this challenge. The current generation of EV technology performs well in passenger cars but remains too expensive for many people, and the cost of the battery is the biggest factor in this. To reduce costs, two things must happen – significant investment in fast charging infrastructure, meaning that battery sizes can be reduced, and sustained investment in R&D into the technology of batteries and their manufacturing processes.

"Beyond passenger cars there are great opportunities for the UK in micro-mobility (e-bikes, scooters, motorcycles and small vehicles), low carbon freight, rail, maritime and aviation. To ensure sustainability of the products we roll out today, we must also be investing in the technologies of recycling and re-use of their component parts – and these too will present industrial opportunities for the UK to secure material supply chains and minimise environmental impact.

"To ensure our innovation investment benefits Britain’s economy, we need a clear action plan to expand and strengthen our transport supply chain. This includes supporting skills and retraining, widening access to finance, improving the industrialisation of innovation and attracting manufacturing investment to the UK.

"Investment in the industries and people striving to make transport zero carbon is the only way that we will achieve a green transport future that is convenient for its users and achieves long term sustainability."

ENDS

4 DECEMBER 2020

FOR FURTHER INFROMATION CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

FOR FURTHER INFROMATION CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk