By 2050, the majority of the UK’s major cities could be run on green energy.
In the UK, we are used to taking everything politicians say with a pinch of salt, and prepare ourselves for disappointment. So we could be forgiven for thinking the latest pledge by various councils is too good to be true. However, this pledge has a time scale of nearly 45years to come to fruition.
More than 50 labour-led council leaders have added their signatures to a pledge promising that their area will be run on green energy by the year 2050, including those in Southwark, Lambeth and Greenwich and the pressure is beginning to build on the mayor of London, currently Conservative, to make the pledge for the city too.
Ahead of the climate talks taking place imminently in Paris, cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham have begun planning for the clean energy drive which the Labour Party have stated will cut the UK’s carbon footprint by 10%. Other cities around the world have already made similar pledges, including Sydney, Copenhagen and New York.
However, the pledge is not enshrined in law and the wording actually promises an ambition, not a binding agreement of action.
The pledge reads:
“We have the ambition of making all our towns and cities across the UK 100% clean before 2050, in line with the commitments made nationally and internationally at the Paris summit. We hope other towns and cities across the globe will join us to demonstrate that this transition will happen through acts of leadership by the many, not the few, and that a transition to a clean energy future is both viable and already beginning to happen in many towns and cities today. Our UK towns and cities are committed to making a better future for all.”
Former energy secretary and Labour Leader Ed Miliband is pushing for the UK government to secure a law which would see the UK target zero carbon emissions by 2050. The current target, set in law, is to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 80%.
Hopefully the climate talks in Paris will bring good results for the future of the UK and a real commitment for change, rather than merely a pledge of ambition.