The Chief Executive of U.K. Committee on Climate Change (CCC)  Chris Stark told POLITICO  that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is going to mean drastic changes to everyday life.
In a report published on 10 June, he said
“Net zero — of course, an energy transition is a big part of it, but it’s a whole economy transition, really. The most interesting things [in December’s recommendations] are not really about the energy transition … but it’s the societal transition that goes with it.”
That means changes to how the U.K. uses agricultural land, what people eat and how they travel.
“We’ll be looking a lot more at using cycling, and walking in cities, how public transport plays a role, how we can change patterns of air travel, so that air travel’s impact is reduced,” Stark said.
CCC will give recommendations in December for Britain’s next emissions target for the mid-2030s. December’s advice “will give a full set of pathways from today out to 2050 in each sector … it demonstrates how society will need to shift,” Stark reported.
“We are more and more vocal, and spiky, with government about what they must do … we say the things they can’t or won’t. As you get closer to the date by which you need to achieve the target, the uncertainty of how you achieve it starts to reduce,” said Stark. “Twenty years ago, you could say there were lots and lots of possibilities for how you may achieve the goal. As you get closer to it, those start to narrow down.”
“We’re relying a lot on electrifying the economy, at least a doubling of demand for electricity — so it’s a doubling of size of the electricity system, all of which needs to be zero carbon,” he said.
Hydrogen will play a key role in greening the one-third of the economy that can’t be easily electrified.
“That would make the hydrogen sector as big as the electricity sector is today. That gives you a sense of the scale of it, and that needs to be achieved over a few decades. It’s enormous, absolutely enormous,” Stark said.