The UK has grown rich through the burning of fossil fuels and the extraction of resources, particularly from the global south. Historically, we’re the sixth largest emitter of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. That means that we have had a huge role in contributing to the climate breakdown that we are now seeing in the form of more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms.
These disasters hit the poorest hardest, and will only get worse without urgent action.
Our research into the UK’s true fair share of climate action takes this historical responsibility into account, as well as our current capacity to respond to the crisis. Based on this, the UK is responsible for 3.5% of total global emissions reductions needed, which would mean reducing our own emissions by 200%.
The conclusion is that the UK must do much more than get to net-zero emissions within its own borders. It must also support international action that reduces emissions in other countries, particularly those with fewer resources, through financial and technical support, expanding clean energy access and ending damaging practices such as deforestation.
This is not only the right thing to do now because of the repercussions of inaction for us all. It is the just response to our role in causing the climate crisis.