The UK government has been ‘too slow’ to follow its ambitious climate targets with delivery, according to the country’s independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
In two new progress reports, the CCC said that Downing Street’s Ten Point Plan, published at the end of last year, had yet to be backed up with firm policies including on renewable energy.
The reports call on the government to outline clear targets to ramp up onshore wind and solar deployment by 2030.
The CCC also wants to see continuing auctions for clean power contracts and reforms to the planning system to empower local communities who want new wind projects.
It added that the government was taking a “high stakes gamble” by relying solely on a new Net Zero Strategy in autumn to demonstrate leadership at home and to a global audience prior to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
The CCC said that it is crucial that the Net Zero Strategy puts clear policy plans, backed by the Treasury, in place and is accompanied by a commitment to preparing the country for the serious climate risks facing the UK.
Chairman of the CCC Lord Deben said: “We are in the decisive decade for tackling climate change. The Government must get real on delivery.
“Global Britain has to prove that it can lead a global change in how we treat our planet. Get it right and UK action will echo widely.
“Get it right and UK action will echo widely. Continue to be slow and timid and the opportunity will slip from our hands. Between now and COP 26 the world will look for delivery, not promises.”
Responding to the two progress reports industry body RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said: “The Climate Change Committee is right to highlight the opportunity for the Government to show leadership ahead of COP26 by continuing to set out a bold, detailed and comprehensive plan in its new Net Zero Strategy, to be published later this year.
“The UK needs a more detailed road map to get to Net Zero, so the CCC is spot on in recommending that Ministers set clear, firm targets to ramp up onshore wind and solar deployment between now and 2030.
“We are confident that, with a few enabling actions, we could develop 30GW of onshore wind by 2030.