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Why Net Zero Emissions Matter for the UK

December 18, 2023
By CSE
net zero

Introduction

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an advisory body to the government on climate issues, has advised the UK to target achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This recommendation aligns with the global objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as outlined in the Paris Agreement.

 

The pursuit of net zero emissions is crucial for the UK not only to fulfill its Paris Agreement commitments but also because, as the upcoming president of the UN climate talks, the UK can influence other nations.

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Current situation

In a recent development, the UK government, as of April 20, 2021, has committed to a significant climate change target, aiming to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035.

 

A survey conducted by the Heat Pump Association indicates a substantial increase in the adoption of low carbon heating technologies, such as heat pumps, in 2021. This trend aligns closely with the UK’s ambitious Net Zero target.

 

With COP28 positioned as the ‘finance COP,’ critical inquiries regarding finances, investment strategies, and the commitment of private sector entities are poised to take center stage. Notably, more than 2,300 corporations have received approval for their science-based targets through the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTI).

 

However, a substantial number of these entities are falling short in addressing a significant portion of their environmental impact—specifically, their Scope 3 emissions. Unlike Scope 1 and 2 emissions directly produced or controlled by the company, Scope 3 emissions result from activities up and down its supply chain. These indirect emissions often constitute the primary hotspot for companies.

 

The CDP highlights a stark reality, revealing that supply chain emissions can be up to 11 times higher than operational emissions. Astonishingly, less than a third of global companies provide meaningful disclosure of their Scope 3 data, as recommended by ISS Corporate Solutions. Moreover, action on Scope 3 emissions remains insufficient, as indicated by a European report from Centrica Business Solutions. Their findings suggest that being proactive in Scope 3 management is not a top priority for 68% of businesses surveyed, who predominantly focus on addressing Scope 1 and 2 emissions in their net-zero plans.

 

As we confront the pressing challenge of climate change, progress appears slow, and the urgency is evident. PwC underscores that the annual rate of global decarbonization must surge seven to twelvefold to align with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. As nations escalate their efforts, businesses must follow suit.

 

A pivotal opportunity lies in achieving the necessary carbon reductions across international supply chains. We Mean Business has initiated the ‘Supplier Cascade’ program, aiming to expedite the pace at which businesses curtail their Scope 3 emissions. The path forward demands collective and decisive action, emphasizing the indispensable role of the private sector in realizing meaningful climate goals.

 

 In CSE we help your organization to achieve their net zero targets with our certified sustainability trainings by:

  • Setting Clear Targets and Timelines
  • Establishing specific, measurable, and time-bound targets for achieving net-zero emissions. Defining short-term and long-term goals to track progress effectively.
  • Conducting a GHG Emissions Inventory:
  • Assessing the organization’s current carbon footprint by conducting a thorough greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Identifying emission sources and quantifying their impact.

 

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