Reducing UK Carbon Emissions with Key Legislation Changes


Governments and the general public across all nations begin to set tackling environmental changes as a top agenda in order to protect the future of our planet. As UK legislation laws continuously evolve in order to support gas emission reductions to help met international targets, some bold steps towards achieving this has been made.

Since now we live in a digital world where we rely heavily upon the likes of technology and transport vehicles in our day to day lives, climate change has had huge effects on us because of this. Therefore, it’s important we understand how the implementation of policy changes set to help save the environment will impact us.

2050 Target: Net Zero Now

The governments ‘net zero’ target to help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 was legislated in June 2019.  This makes the UK the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to global warming.[1] This latest move is a more ambitious plan than the country’s previous target of an 80% emissions reduction by 2050, taking it one step further – cutting emissions to as close to zero as possible in the same time period.

David Taylor, Head of Corporate affairs and Innovation at Flogas, said: “With so many premises still relying on high-carbon traditional off-grid fuels like oil – and heating making such a major contribution to current emissions levels – the transition to lower-carbon alternatives is long overdue. LPG energy is the cleanest, most efficient and effective conventional off-grid fuel, so it is uniquely placed to help reduce emissions immediately.

“Building on this, we see biopropane (or BioLPG) as a hugely significant part of the UK’s renewable future. Produced using biological sources (such as waste, sewage and energy crops), bioLPG is chemically-identical to LPG. This means it can be simply ‘dropped in’ to the UK’s existing, comprehensive LPG network – so it will become increasingly important as we strive to meet the UK’s new 2050 net zero deadline.”

A Carbon Neutral Future may be in sight: The Clean Growth Strategy

The governments introduction of the Clean Growth Strategy is another key attribute the UK’s move towards a carbon neutral future involves– a plan brought into place to help accelerate the pace of ‘clean growth’ by decreasing emissions whilst simultaneously increasing economic growth.

Most notably, the Strategy aims to reduce carbon emissions in the six areas that together make up 100% of the UK’s emissions.[2] These are:

  • Improving business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions)
  • Improving efficiency within our homes (13% of UK emissions)
  • Increasing the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions)
  • Delivering clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions)
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions)
  • Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions)

The government stated that they plan to roll out lower-carbon processes, technologies and systems across the whole nation in order turn this vision into a reality – doing so in the most cost-effective way possible for businesses and homes alike.

 The 2018 Road to Zero Strategy plan

The road to zero strategy, first implemented in 2018, outlined the government’s plans to reduce road transport emissions and build greener infrastructure. Part of this plan will be encouraging the uptake of zero-emission cars, vans and trucks, as part of the government’s mission to tackle air pollution and deliver cleaner air across the country. Changes such as putting a stop to the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 is one of the most significant ways in which it intends to deliver this plan.[3]

The UK government aims to make 50%-70% of new car registrations and 40% of new vans to give off ultra-low emissions by 2030.[4] What this means for the UK is that we’ll begin to see a huge rise in electric charging points as the government throws it weight behind the adoption of electric vehicles (EV).

Despite the governments determined attempt to reduce carbon emissions, the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ’s) into various UK cities has been delayed. Most recently, Leeds and Birmingham have experienced delays with their digital vehicle checking tools, which allow drivers to check the type of emissions their cars produce. Delays to the introduction of this software are likely to push back their plans to introduce Clean Air Zones.[5]

United fight: The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was the initial catalyst that lead to many other legislation changes, ultimately helping strengthen the united fight against climate change. It saw more than 200 countries take part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, resulting in an agreement that strengthened action for a more sustainable, low carbon future.

The Paris Agreement states that all parties involved, including the UK, aim to limit temperature rises to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial times and preferably less than 1.5 degrees. A regular five-year review will also take place to monitor progress as well as increased funding to developing countries to help keep them in line with similar national targets.







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BDC 309 : Oct 2023