To reduce emissions, UK government advisers demand halting new roads and developments


The UK government’s climate advisers will likely recommend that all new roads be halted unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is expected to say that the government’s current road-building programme is incompatible with its climate goals.

Due to be published on Monday, the CCC’s report will warn that the government needs to “fundamentally rethink” its approach to transport to achieve its aim of attaining net zero emissions by 2050; the organization needs to take specific measures. The report is also likely to call for a shift from private cars to public transport, walking, and cycling.

The government has already committed to spending £27 billion on road building over the next five years. However, the CCC is likely to say that this money would be better spent on improving public transport and making streets more pedestrian-friendly.

The report is likely to be welcomed by environmental groups, who have long argued that the government’s road-building programme is a waste of money and a threat to the climate. However, it will likely be met with opposition from the road haulage industry and some Conservative MPs.

The government has said that it is committed to meeting its climate goals, but it also needs to balance this with the need to support economic growth. Whether the government will heed the CCC’s advice and halt new road building remains to be seen.

Here are some of the reasons why the CCC is likely to recommend halting new roads and developments adding to emissions:

  • Transport is the UK’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  New routes encourage more driving, which leads to more emissions.
  •  More sustainable ways to meet our transport needs include public transport, walking, and cycling.
  •  Halting new roads would free up money to invest in more sustainable transport options.

According to the CCC’s report, it is crucial that we take immediate measures to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. If we do, we will see our climate goals and severe consequences.

Here are some of the potential benefits of halting new roads and developments adding to emissions:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be beneficial in combating climate change.
  •  It would free up money to invest in more sustainable transport options, such as public transport, walking, and cycling.
  •  It would make our streets more pedestrian-friendly and improve air quality.
  •  It would help to reduce traffic congestion and improve journey times.

Of course, there are also potential challenges to halting new roads and developments, adding to emissions. These include:

  • The need to find alternative ways to meet our transport needs.
  •  The potential impact on jobs in the road building industry.
  •  The need to ensure that everyone has access to affordable and reliable transport.

Overall, whether or not to halt new roads and developments adding to emissions is complex, with potential benefits and challenges. However, this is an important issue that must be considered to meet our climate goals.

Deben, who retires as CCC chair in the coming weeks, also said it was a “scandal” new homes that would continue to contribute to climate change through heating, cooking, and poor insulation were still being built. The government is moving towards making homes less polluting and has pledged £1.8bn to boost energy efficiency and cut emissions from homes and public buildings across England.

The CCC came under fire at Glastonbury from Prof Kevin Anderson, a climate physicist, who told the meeting that the committee based its findings on what was politically achievable rather than what was needed to protect the climate. He argued that net zero was a flawed concept that allowed CO2 levels to continue to grow and gave firms a free pass to carry on emitting.

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Marta Lopez

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By Marta Lopez

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