What the government is doing to tackle climate change

The government is working at home and internationally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and maximise the economic opportunities of clean growth.

The UK has led the world when it comes to tackling climate change, cutting emissions further than any other G7 country on a per person basis – 42% since 1990. While emissions have fallen since 1990, the UK has grown the economy by 72 per cent – an example that tackling climate change and growing prosperity can go hand in hand.

This is why the government has committed over £3 billion to support low carbon innovation between 2015 and 2021 through the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Last year was the UK’s greenest ever year with more than 50% of electricity coming from low carbon sources. We have the biggest offshore wind capacity in the world, which is set to power a third of the UK’s electricity by 2030 – driven by £250 million investment from industry through our Offshore Wind Sector Deal launched in March this year. When the sun is shining, solar panels can generate a quarter of our electricity and, by 2030, 70% of electricity could come from low carbon sources.

Alongside other developed countries, the UK pledged to provide at least £5.8 billion of International Climate Finance (ICF) between 2016 and 2020, placing us amongst the world’s leading providers of climate finance. ICF helps developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce deforestation and pursue clean economic growth. Since 2011, ICF has given 17 million people access to clean energy and helped 47 million people adapt to the impacts of climate change.

But with more to do, during last year’s Green GB Week we asked independent climate experts, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), for advice on setting a date for achieving net zero emissions across the economy.

In May, the CCC published its advice recommending a 2050 net zero emissions target and in June we laid legislation to put the UK on the path to become one of the first major economies to set a net zero emissions target in law. This will end the UK’s contribution to global warming and ensure we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change.