A new report has highlighted that UK must drastically change food habits, limit air travel and increase its green cover if it intends to meet its carbon neutral goals.
A government-backed report by non-profit Energy Systems Catapult shows that Britain needs to take drastic steps in three areas-– Low Carbon Technology, Land Use and Lifestyle in order to stand true to its ‘Net Zero’ emissions target by 2050.
The report has drawn 100s of potential pathways to get to Net Zero by 2050 by combining different technologies and behaviour changes.
This includes increasing use of renewable energy in the form of solar, nuclear and wind energy, reducing meat and dairy consumption by 50%, ‘planting a forest up to twice the size of Birmingham every year,’ increasing biomass production to replace carbon-emitting fuel sources and investing in hydrogen and advanced nuclear technologies.
Energy Systems Catapult Insight and Evidence lead Scott Milne, said: “Last year the UK became the first major economy in the world to commit to a ‘Net Zero’ emissions target by 2050.
“Now for the first time, we’ve modelled hundreds of potential pathways to get to Net Zero by 2050.
“Broadly each potential pathway uses a combination of two different approaches: a top-down technology focused approach or a bottom-up behaviour focused approach.
“However, what stands out is – no matter which pathway the UK takes – innovation, investment and incentives across low carbon technology, land use and lifestyle is essential to achieve Net Zero.”
The report highlighted that changing dietary habits and restricting flight hours would be two areas that would ‘elicit a more resistant and emotional response’, from the public.
Speaking to Mail Online, Milne said: “Cutting meat consumption by half is our “stretch assumption” – we know it would help reduce emissions, and be good for people’s health, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen.
“We’ve emphasised the need for innovation across the economy, and this absolutely includes the food system.”
He added that while transitioning to a plant-based diet would help reduce individual carbon footprint, food companies would have to monitor emissions across their supply chains and farming practices would also have to be optimized to reduce carbon emissions related to livestock rearing.
Air travel also contributes to high carbon output and the report recommended to curb the growth in demand for aviation, which has reportedly increased to 60% since 2005 to around 20 percent of what it is now by 2050 in a bid to tackle emissions.
Share this report to reveal how eating meat and dairy products along with other factors can stop UK from reaching its ‘carbon neutral’ goals.