The new report, entitled 'Clean Growth: Technologies for meeting the UK’s emissions reduction targets' has concluded that net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will be undeliverable unless clean growth policies are introduced rapidly.
In addition to recommending that the government bring forward the proposed ban on sales of new conventional cars and vans to 2035 at the latest, the report suggests that the ban should explicitly cover hybrid EV as well as internal combustion engine vehicles.
"In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation. The Government should not aim to achieve emissions reductions simply by replacing existing vehicles with lower-emissions versions," the report explained.
The ECI’s and TSU’s Christian Brand led the detailed analysis undertaken to support this statement. The analysis, published by the UK Energy Research Centre in 2018 and 2019, projected that "a 2040 ban "may neither hit the [original 2050 emissions reductions] target nor make the early gains needed for a 1.5°C trajectory". Instead, it suggested that a 2040 ban would have to include hybrid as well as conventional cars in order to meet the UK’s existing targets, and that this ban would have to be brought forward to 2030 in order to align with a pathway to 1.5˚C global warming."
"Our research has measured that the UK government’s current strategy is not sufficient to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050," explains Dr Christian Brand.
"I am glad to see our work informing the policy debate around emissions and clean growth. With this latest report from the Committee of Science and Technology it is clear that there is a growing consensus among policy makers that change needs to be faster and go further than existing targets set out."