COP26: Could London Meet the UK Climate Change Targets by 2050?

British Prime Minister set out his strategy for a green revolution. Johnson announced at the COP26 summit that London would pursue a bold Net Zero plan by 2050. The UK climate change strategy requires determination to reach the green goal by 2050. 


The United Nations Global Climate Change Conference (COP26) has brought together world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland. Countries want to decide about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. They should reduce CO2 emissions to slow climate change and protect the globe from damaging weather, human health, ecosystems, and infrastructure. 

Greenhouse gas is warming the Earth so fast, and more CO2 is in the atmosphere, making the globe warmer. In 2016, Paris Agreement set a target of restricting global warming to 1.5° C by 2030. Therefore, parties to the Paris Agreement should reduce the emission of CO2 by 45 per cent from 2010 levels to 2030. Countries should cooperate on the plan to reach that goal and reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050. Many governments want to be climate-neutral by 2050 and get an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

The UK Calls on All Countries to Join for Net Zero Emission

The British government set the UK climate change policy and pursues net zero-emission, and businesses have started to fix it. All sectors of the UK society and all economic sectors should play their roles in this regard. Different sectors such as the power sector, mobility, transport, industry, agriculture, building, infrastructure have essential functions in UK climate change. 

At COP26, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the conference and asked every country to make “compromises and ambitious commitments” for a net zero-emission. The UK government says that country’s businesses are leading the world in their commitments to the UK climate change policies. Based on Westminster information, half of the largest companies in Britain are committed to reducing their carbon emission contribution. Half of the businesses worldwide that joined the UN for the net-zero carbon emission program are British businesses. 

Scotland Ahead of UK Nations for Greener Society

Joining the net-zero program is essential for companies to develop green technologies and industries. Scotland’s businesses are among the leading British companies for the UK climate change strategy. Based on the UK government information, the British power sector has been decarbonized faster than other countries since Climate Change Act. 

The British government set the target for 2030 to move to clean power by supporting jobs and leveraging private investment. At COP26, the UK government called on all world businesses to participate in the net-zero emission target. The British government asked organizations to switch to electric vehicles, become more energy-efficient, and start a green business revolution. According to the UK climate change strategy, electric heat pumps will be installed, and petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2030. British Chancellor of the Exchequer set programs to make the first net-zero finance centre pattern the other countries could follow. 

Westminster Does Not Support Local Leaders for the Green Agenda

At COP26 and earlier to the conference, British officials spoke about their green achievements, but it was unsuccessful. The government has failed to provide local leaders with financial resources for green achievements. There are eager councils to achieve net-zero, but Westminster does not help them with their needs. According to some boards, the British government does not put the money needed for the UK climate change.

 If the government does not pay the required money for the green agenda, that could put costs on working-class families. Without help from the central government, it is hard for local officials to fulfil green ambitions for UK climate change. Cities and regions in the UK need power and funding to pursue changes for net-zero carbon emission effectively. The UK climate change policy lacks adequate money, and the Treasury warned they should raise taxes to support the move.

UK Strategy Lacks Comprehensive Policy for Greener World

Some experts say the UK climate change program is not good enough to replace gas energy and support all households. Among the four UK nations, Scotland is doing better for UK climate change. Scottish National Party (SNP) established a strategy to phase out new petrol vehicles by 2030. Scotland invests in decarbonizing flights by 2040 to create the first net-zero emission aviation region in the world. Scottish government improves rail links to make sure they are fully decarbonized. 

Scotland has planted millions of trees in just one year and invested 1,6 billion pounds in five years for creating thousands of green jobs. Whereas the UK government published its net-zero strategy some days before the COP26 conference, it lacks the fast investment and policies needed for the UK climate change. There are differences between rhetoric and reality, and the UK cannot lead the movement to the green world. 

By Brexit, the UK Must Establish Its Own Climate Change Program 

Moreover, the UK government should cooperate with the other European countries to lead a global net-zero emission movement. The problem with Europe is that Brexit brought a lot of disagreements between the two sides. The UK was an essential member of the EU’s climate change program through the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The UK was an advocate for concrete policy action in the EU’s climate change architecture. 

The UK and the EU’s energy markets worked together and used to be closely connected through physical channels. There was common ground in setting standards, regulations, and financing between the UK and the EU’s energy markets. By Brexit, the UK is outside the Internal Energy Market and the EU ETS and has to adjust its plans to decarbonize its energy sector. Now, the UK has to establish new institutions to redesign the old energy and climate regimes. 


The UK government has announced its green targets before the COP26 to present itself as a global leader in climate and environmental strategy. Although the UK sets out goals for all sectors to reach net-zero targets by 2050, its strategy fails to provide the required policy and funding inside the country. British government’s legally binding goals lack adequate financial sources and fair distributions throughout the whole country. Furthermore, the Scottish government follows its green policies and leads the net zero-emission programs better than London did. 

On the other hand, after the UK withdrawal from the EU, tensions between the two sides have increased to a high level that disputes occurred in many areas of shared interests. By Brexit, there were little cooperation and no more connections in the energy sector and environmentally friendly programs. The British government is not good enough for leading the world net zero-emission strategy and has to adjust its plans for the UK climate change program. 

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