Friday, 24 May 2019

For KCC to target 2050 to cut emissions to net zero is at best like flipping a coin for our future

Yesterday Conservative Kent Country Councillors undermined a motion which made a genuine effort to help tackle global warming when they trebled the length of time in which action is to be taken.

In a debate on a motion brought to the council by KCC's sole Green councillor, which was supported by Lib Dems and Labour, a disagreement centred on the dates 2030 or 2050. UN scientists reported last year that there was a 50:50 chance of avoiding global warming of over 1.5 degrees if global emissions are reduced to net zero by 2050. (1.5 degrees is the amount of warming scientists and politicians have agreed would avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.) The Green, Lib Dem and Labour councillors supported reducing emissions which they have direct control of to zero by 2030 but Conservatives voted to amend this to 2050 claiming that this was the approach which science dictates. (scientific bases come from the IPCC and reported here)

These Conservative showed a complete disregard for both science and the political realities of climate change. Economically developed countries like ours have been built on the back of decades of pollution which have got us where we are both in economic terms and a climate crisis. Therefore it is only right that developed countries cut their emissions at a much greater pace than other countries who have historically polluted less. Even more poignant is that scientists have said that the 2050 target gives us a 50:50 chance of avoiding the most catastrophic effects of climate change. For KCC to target 2050 to cut emissions to net zero is at best like flipping a coin for our future but seems to me that they aren't genuine about doing their bit to tackle global warming.

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