Green GB Week this year will be taking place 4 – 8 November, as part of Government’s Year of Green Action. Further details and resources for Green GB Week 2019 will follow shortly.

For more information on the events and activities that took place during Green GB Week 2018, please see below.

 

What the government is doing to tackle climate change

The UK has led the world when it comes to tackling climate change, cutting emissions further than any other G7 country – 42% since 1990 – and putting the huge opportunities created by the transition to a greener cleaner economy at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. 

The global move to cleaner economic growth – through low carbon technologies and the more efficient use of resource – is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time. While emissions have fallen since 1990, the UK has grown the economy by 72 per cent – an example that tackling climate change and growing prosperity can go hand in hand.   

This is why the government has committed over £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation between 2015 and 2021 through the Clean Growth Strategy, and has since announced further investment to support clean growth through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. 

Last year was the UK’s greenest ever year with more than 50% of electricity coming from low carbon sources. We have the biggest offshore wind capacity in the world which is set to power a third of the UK’s electricity by 2030 – driven by £250 million investment from industry through our Offshore Wind Sector Deal launched in March this year. When the sun is shining, solar panels can generate a quarter of our electricity and by 2030 70% of electricity could come from low carbon sources. 

Alongside other developed countries, the UK pledged to provide at least £5.8 billion of International Climate Finance (ICF) between 2016 and 2020 (all from the aid budget), placing us amongst the world’s leading providers of climate finance. ICF helps developing countries mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce deforestation and pursue clean economic growth. Since 2011, ICF has given 17 million people access to clean energy and helped 47 million people adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

But with more to do, during last year’s Green GB Week we asked independent climate experts, the Committee on Climate Change, for advice on setting a date for achieving net zero emissions across the economy. The CCC published its advice recommending a 2050 net zero emissions target and we will be responding in due course to ensure the UK continues to be a world leader in tackling climate change. 

 

Timeline

  • 2008: The landmark Climate Change Act came into force with cross-party support. The UK was the first country in the world to introduce legally binding emission reduction targets when it passed the Act.
  • 2015: We played a world-leading role in securing the historic Paris Agreement aimed at keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees.
  • 2015: The UK was the first national government to announce a commitment to phase out unabated coal use, setting a target date of 2025.
  • 2016: We committed to setting a legally binding net zero target in the future.
  • 2017: We published the Clean Growth Strategy and modern Industrial Strategy.
  • 2017: Working with Canada, we established the Powering Past Coal Alliance in 2017. Since its launch, the Alliance has attracted over 80 members.
  • 2018: We announced £6 billion of funding for an energy efficiency scheme to help end fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions by providing energy efficiency upgrades.
  • 2018: We confirmed our ambition to see at least half of new cars to be ultra low emission by 2030 as part of plans to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle in the Road to Zero strategy.
  • 2018: We launched the 25 year Environment plan setting out the government’s ambition to leave the environment in a better place than we found it
  • 2018: We commissioned the CCC for advice on net zero during our first ever Green GB Week.
  • 2018: Over half of our electricity came from low carbon sources.
  • 2019: We launched our world-leading Offshore Wind Sector Deal
  • 2019: We launched our Clean Air Strategy, making £495 million of dedicated funding available for local authorities to enact measures to meet clean air targets as quickly as possible.
  • April 2019: The CCC gave their advice on a net zero target and we will look at when, not if, we legislate for net zero.
  • May 2019: The UK went a whole consecutive week with no coal generated coal power. Bringing the total for 2019 to over 1000 hours.

What is clean growth?

Clean growth is a true British success story. Since we introduced the Climate Change Act ten years ago we have shown the world that we can cut greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time increasing jobs and growth in every corner of the country.

Now we want to go further, which is why we put a commitment to maximising the opportunities of the global shift to clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.

Everyone can play their part. Whether you are interested in taking action yourself or are a business, university, research institution, or community, driving clean growth is both a shared responsibility and a shared opportunity.

Green Great Britain Week

Businesses and universities

Businesses and universities are important partners to drive the innovation we need for clean growth such as developing the technology to charge electric vehicles more quickly.

As the world acts to tackle climate change, we will see trillions of pounds invested across sectors such as transport, construction and power, with almost 10 trillion US dollars alone being invested into low carbon energy around the world in the next three decades.

Our ambition, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, is for the UK to be at the forefront of providing these low carbon technologies, innovative systems and services. The government is supporting businesses to invest in research and innovation, for example through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Businesses have significant opportunities to reduce their emissions and costs through reducing energy waste. Your business could make a commitment today to take action – whether that’s thinking about how you could reduce the energy waste of your building, carry out an energy audit in your workplace, or improve the management of your car fleet, including considering the benefits of plug-in vehicles.

For more information on how your business can reduce its emissions, take a look at our ‘top ten’ actions for businesses in the animation. Further guidance on each action is also available.

 

 

Commit to take action on climate change in your business.

Green Great Britain Week

You, your friends and family

Clean growth and climate change are important issues that the government is working on at home and internationally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and drive clean energy.

Everyone can play a role in tackling climate change. You could commit to reducing the amount of food you waste, getting a smart meter, carrying a reusable bottle or coffee cup, or reducing your energy use at home.

There are almost 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, employing people in locations right across the country and, the sector has the potential to support up to 2 million jobs by 2030.

For more information on how to start today, take a look at our ‘top ten’ actions to tackle climate change and save money. Further information is also available.

Get involved in Green GB Week.

Green Great Britain Week

Community groups

The power of communities can really help to fast-forward the UK’s clean growth strategy and drive clean growth. Community energy is a critical part of the wider energy system, with over 200 communities already generating their own energy or improving energy efficiency. Community energy projects can cut emissions, improve air quality, create jobs and make better use of local skills and resources to drive clean growth.

Green GB Week is an opportunity to explore what climate action your community could take and how it could benefit from clean growth. Discover how you and your community could generate your own renewable energy through the Community Energy Resource Hub, pledge to plant more trees in your local area or host a climate change and cake event to discuss what climate action you can take in your community.

See what you can do to take action in your local area.