UK needs billions to meet 2050 climate targets

A report commissioned by the government states that the UK will need investment worth billions of pounds every year to remove enough greenhouse gases from the air to meet its 2050 climate targets.

The report, by analysts at Vivid Economics, estimated that the UK would need as much as £20bn a year to remove up to 130m tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air. This will be necessary to make up for industries such as aviation and agriculture.

The report says: “Even if emissions are reduced aggressively across the economy, the UK is expected to continue to emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases annually. The rate of rollout will need to be rapid, particularly in the 2030s and 2040s, and will require significant policy support”.

Ministers have been urged to support investment in greenhouse gas removal. This could mean offering subsidies and grants for carbon capture technologies or demanding that companies supplying fossil fuels and agriculture products offset a percentage of their carbon emissions by investing in greenhouse gas removal.

The report estimates that, on average, the UK may need between £1bn-£2bn a year in 2030 to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the air, rising to £6bn-£20bn by 2050.Projects range in expense from technology that can absorb carbon dioxide from the air at a cost of £160-£470 a tonne, to restoring natural habitats at a cost of £8-£78 a tonne.

Picture Credit | iStock
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