UK should cut vehicle use to hit zero-carbon target, say MPs

(The Guardian, 22 Aug 2019) Scathing report says Tory governments have held back progress on clean energy goals.

The government should discourage personal vehicle use and reward energy-efficient homebuilding to meet its legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, MPs have said

In a scathing parliamentary report, the cross-party science and technology select committee said recent Conservative governments have promised more but done less on the climate crisis, which has left several gaping policy holes that need to be filled.

Among a list of 10 “clean growth” measures needed to make up lost ground, the MPs called for stamp duty incentives for energy-efficient homes, the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to be brought forward, a shift away from personal vehicles and greater use of technology to capture and store carbon.

“Government action is needed to reverse the current policy trend of cutbacks and slow progress,” said the paper, which highlights the growing gulf between words and actions.

This summer, the government claimed to be a global climate leader when it announced a long-term goal to go carbon neutral by the middle of the century. This followed parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency on 1 May.

But the committee said such bold pledges in the past have been contradicted by backward steps: over the past 10 years, the government has cut subsidies for onshore wind, solar power and low-emission cars. It has frozen fuel duty, dropped plans for zero-carbon homes and eradicated feed-in tariffs for low-carbon power generation.

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The Guardian, 22 Aug 2019: UK should cut vehicle use to hit zero-carbon target, say MPs