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COP26 UK Climate Change Conference
01 Nov 2021

How can Britain achieve target net zero?

By Oliver
  • Read time: 2 minutes
As world leaders gather in Scotland this week for COP26 we look at how Britain could achieve net zero.

What is net zero and COP26?

World leaders are currently convening in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26, a global climate summit, to discuss their efforts to achieve "net zero". Net zero is achieved when a country only emits as much greenhouse gas emissions as it removes from the atmosphere.

Major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions include: Transport, energy supplies, business, homes and agriculture. The cheapest and most simple way to remove carbon from the atmosphere is to plant more trees and increase green spaces. However technology is emerging that can contribute to this but it is still largely unproven.

Climate change plant desert

What will be discussed at COP26?

During this conference, 200 countries will be asked to discuss their plans to reduce their emissions by 2030. The last global meeting was held in 2015 and the agreements of which are now known as the Paris Agreement. The main aim of which was to keep global warming below an increase of 2°C with an aim of 1.5°C maximum.

World leaders will announce their plans to reduce emissions before the summit begins. During COP26 we will likely see many headlines outlining major steps that world Governments are taking to reduce their countries emissions. These may include steps such as:

  • Increase the speed at which Electric Vehicles are adopted

  • Decrease global deforestation

  • Increase the speed for phasing out coal power

  • Public funding to help with the above listed

The overall target is to achieve net zero by 2050, which may mean countries need to increase their efforts and push for bigger emission cuts by 2030.

How will this affect you?

COP26 could have a large impact on the way we live our day to day lives. From the food we eat to the cars we drive, most things we do have an impact on the environment.

We can expect to see a bigger push for the use of Electric Vehicles, renewable energy and heating sources. The UK has already made efforts in these areas by announcing that no new gas boilers are to be installed beyond 2025, instead homeowners are urged to install renewable heat pumps.

Funding for EV chargers has also been extended via the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to encourage car owners to make the switch to EV.

wind turbines renewable energy sunset

Will COP26 be a success?

The actions required by all nations around the world to achieve target net zero will be immense. Therefore the UK will be keen to end COP26 with a solid statement on how the world's countries plan to tackle the issue of climate change and achieve net zero by 2050.

Scientists have stated that we must ensure that we keep temperature increases below 1.5°C to prevent a climate catastrophe though some believe world leaders have done too little too late to achieve this.


Written by Oliver

Oliver is a Content Specialist for 50five UK