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Britain's slow progress to tackle climate change must be urgently reversed, MPs warn

CUTBACKS and slow progress on policies to tackle climate change must be urgently reversed if Britain is to meet its net zero carbon target, MPs say.

The target to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero overall by 2050 was passed into law earlier this year.

However, MPs sitting on the Commons science and technology committee warned it will not be met without new policies to boost clean growth.

The committee pointed to a number of areas where government policy to support bringing in low-carbon tech had been delayed, cut back or had undermined emissions reductions.

They include cuts to grants for low-emissions cars, the freezing of fuel duty while train and bus fares have risen and the restriction and removal of policies to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Committee chairman Norman Lamb said the government was not putting in place the policies that were needed to meet its climate targets, with Britain currently not on track to meet its goals into the 2030s, let alone reach net zero.

Greenpeace climate campaigner Areeba Hamid said: “The government’s approach to the climate emergency appears to be derived from the philosophy of St Augustine — ‘Lord, make me pure — but not yet.’

“Unfortunately, the climate doesn’t forgive past sins, however sincerely you repent. Every policy mistake — backing fracking and Heathrow’s third runway, opposing onshore wind and solar — will have to be paid for, in sterling, and in human lives.”

Meeting the target requires efforts to cut carbon emissions from heating systems, improve home energy efficiency, tackle vehicle pollution, support onshore wind and solar power, and sustain nuclear power without growing the industry, the report said.

Green MEP Alexandra Phillips told the Star: “We desperately need a green new deal which would see the creation of secure, well-paid jobs in green industries.”

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