The UK has vowed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds in the next decade to fight climate change.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the ‘ambitious’ target yesterday, saying the move will set the country ‘on course to hit net zero by 2050’.
He said, in comparison with 1990, there will be a decrease of 68 percent in annual carbon emissions by 2030.
‘A truly global challenge’
“The fight against climate change is a truly global challenge,” Johnson said, “And it’s one we’re only going to win if every country on every continent does its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…
“2021 is going to be a very important year in the fight against climate change, with the UK hosting the C0P26 conference in Glasgow, and I can think of no better way to kick things off than by setting an ambitious and demanding but yet achievable goal.
“The whole world needs to act on climate change, and I’m immensely proud that the UK is once again leading the way.”
The Prime Minister says he will also co-host a virtual summit next week, where he pledges to ‘challenge world leaders’ to not only match the UK’s targets but to ‘set out exactly how they plan to do so’.
‘Transform the global food system’
Earlier this year, research from an international team led by the University of Oxford found slashing our use of fossil fuel use is essential to meet global climate targets. But is not enough unless we also transform the global food system.
In fact, scientists say, even if fossil fuel emissions stop immediately, emissions from the global food system alone could increase global temperatures by more than 1.5°C.
The Paris Climate Agreement goal is to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C or 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Global temperature increases beyond this will lead to extreme heatwaves, flooding, water scarcity, and more.
Dr. Michael Clark is from The Oxford Martin School and Nuffield Department of Population Health. In a statement sent to Plant Based News, he said: “Discussions on mitigating climate change typically focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, for instance, from transportation or energy production.
“However, our research emphasizes the importance of reducing emissions from the global food system… The most important is for individuals to shift towards predominantly plant-based diets.”