The UK was the home of the industrial revolution and, according to Michael Gove, therefore has a moral responsibility to lead on cutting emissions. In April 2019, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) published its first framework definition for Net Zero buildings along with a target for achieving Net Zero for all new buildings by 2030 and all existing building by 2050. On 26th June 2019, the UK became the first G7 member to legislate for Net Zero emissions by 2050.
What is Net Zero?
Net Zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activity, accounting for 81% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
How can Net Zero be achieved?
To achieve Net Zero, emissions produced need to be fully neutralised via natural carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests, and existing carbon capture technologies. However, climate change experts believe we cannot plant enough trees fast enough to do the job on its own. Negative emissions technologies such as Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) are also still too expensive to be used at scale. Therefore, a significant reduction in GHG emissions across all sectors of the economy is required if the UK is to meet this challenging target. Read More