A new environmental bill has been passed in the UK to help the nation step up its efforts in tackling climate change.
The government has outlined new measures to improve and speed up the UK’s protection against climate change. The new proposals are in response to recommendations made by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).
The new bill is intended to help the nation hit its environmental targets as the UK became the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050.
The plans aim to ‘galvanise’ the whole government so it can work together in order to tackle climate change and speed up decarbonisation.
The bill outlines the following:
- Improvements for commercial buildings, helping businesses save up to £1bn per year in energy bills by 2030. The plans include a consultation to improve energy performance of rented commercial buildings and will see changes to the minimum energy efficiency standards at EPC band B.
- A consultation in 2020 to introduce mandatory in-use energy performance ratings for business buildings to improve understanding and management.
- A consultation to ensure large-scale energy storage facilities find it easier to obtain planning permission.
- The endorsement of data sharing across the UK energy network to help support decarbonisation and reduce energy costs for the consumer.
The plans also see the introduction of a new government body, the Office for Environmental Protection which will hold government departments and public bodies to account for their environmental obligations.
Energy Secretary, Andrea Leadsom said: “4 months ago the UK took the bold step of becoming the first country in the developed world to put into law our ambition to wipe out the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, following the CCC’s advice.
This builds on our long and proud track record of leadership - since 1990 we’ve cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 42% while growing our economy by more than two-thirds. More than half of our electricity currently comes from low carbon sources. And we will keep on going further and faster to ensure our action meets our ambition.”
Since the pledge for zero carbon emissions by 2050, the UK government has announced an investment of £2bn in researching and developing low carbon technologies such as large-scale battery technology and carbon capture.
The UK’s first Transport Decarbonisation Plan has also been revealed in an attempt to end transport emissions by 2050.