Menu
Press release

Embargoed for 22:30, June 11, 2019

Christian Aid responds to UK setting net zero emissions date

- ‘Until we go net zero we’ll be trying to tackle a housefire by dousing it with petrol’ 

Responding to the news that the UK has set a net zero emissions target, Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, Dr Alison Doig, said:
 
“It’s a historic day when the country that introduced carbon-based industrialisation to the world announces that it will no longer contribute to climate change.  The world is facing a climate emergency and the only way we will solve it is by countries going net zero.
 
“But today’s announcement does not go far enough. We urge Parliament to push the government towards a target of 2045 at the very latest. Christian Aid firmly believes 2045 is the latest point at which we can safely reach net zero greenhouse-gas emissions. The poorest people on the front lines of climate breakdown cannot wait while we drag our heels - despite being least to blame, they are suffering the consequences now.
 
“As well as a long term target we need to ensure that we move right away to a greener and fairer economic model. It’s vital that we bring an end to the fossil fuel era, including oil and gas, while promoting energy efficiency, renewables and under-addressed emissions from transport and industry. We need real investment and cross-government action to make that a reality”

Dr Doig added: “Global emissions continue to rise. Currently we’re trying to tackle a house fire by dousing it with petrol.  Only when we stop pumping out greenhouse gas emissions can we start to bring the fire under control.”
 
“The Climate Change Committee advised the Government not to include any international offsets in their net zero calculations, so it is very disappointing to see the Government keeping this option open. Allowing for carbon offsetting slows the rate of decarbonisation while allowing the UK to get the glory of making a commitment.. It is vital that the Government ensures real emissions reductions are made within the UK and not merely outsourced internationally through dodgy loopholes. Otherwise this target will end up as state-sponsored greenwashing.”
 
Christian Aid supporters will be taking part in the Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament which will see 10,000 people descending on Westminster to speak to their MP about the need for action on climate change.  For more information and to sign up people can visit http://caid.org.uk/thetimeisnow.

Ends