As the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050, the UK’s commitment to ending its contribution to climate change is unwavering.

We want to ensure all businesses and other organisations, as well as the government, are able to enjoy Green GB & NI week to the full, and we are conscious that as we draw closer to 31 October, many businesses may be concentrated on getting ready for EU Exit.

For that reason, Green GB & NI week will be rescheduled to early next year from the current dates of 4-8 November to enable businesses and government to fully focus on EU Exit preparations,and enjoy Green GB & NI to the full next year.

Green GB & NI is a campaign and week when government, businesses, academia and civil society come together to explore how clean growth will change our futures and how we can contribute to action on climate change. The next Green GB & NI week will highlight the opportunities, benefits and challenges of reducing our emissions to net zero, ending the UK’s contribution to climate change, and growing our low carbon economy. More details on when the next week will take place will follow shortly.

In the meantime explore below to find out more about clean growth and how you can take action on climate change.

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What is Clean Growth and why act on climate change

Clean growth is a true British success story. Since we introduced the Climate Change Act in 2008, 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.

On 12 June, the Government announced it will set a new net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the UK, to be delivered by 2050. This world-leading target will bring to an end the UK’s contribution to climate change.

We want to deliver on our net zero commitment in a way that maximises the opportunities of both the UK’s transition and the global shift to clean growth. This is why we placed 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, tackling climate change and driving clean growth is both a shared responsibility and a shared opportunity. See below for ideas on how you can get involved.

For inspiration, take a look at our Industrial Strategy Map which showcases some of the many innovative, cutting-edge green businesses and organisations employing thousands of people in high-quality green jobs and working day in, day out to tackle climate change, drive innovation and clean growth across the UK. This is Clean Growth in action.

Why act on climate change?

Overwhelmingly scientists agree that climate change is happening, with human activity as the main cause. Climate change is a result of rising levels of carbon dioxide, and other gases such as methane, trapping the sun’s energy in the atmosphere and causing the planet to heat up – resulting in the greenhouse effect.

The higher the amount of greenhouse gases, the warmer the Earth becomes. As the climate changes, the frequency of some extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and floods in the UK, is increasing.

Average temperatures at the Earth’s surface have risen by around 1 degree Celsius since 1850-1900. Get the facts about climate change.

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What the government is doing to tackle climate change

The government is working at home and internationally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and maximise the economic opportunities of clean growth.

The UK has led the world when it comes to tackling climate change, cutting emissions further than any other G7 country on a per person basis – 42% since 1990. 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 £3 billion to support low carbon innovation between 2015 and 2021 through the Clean Growth Strategy and 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, 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 (CCC), for advice on setting a date for achieving net zero emissions across the economy.

In May, the CCC published its advice recommending a 2050 net zero emissions target and in June we laid legislation to put the UK on the path to become one of the first major economies to set a net zero emissions target in law. This will end the UK’s contribution to global warming and ensure we continue to be a world leader in tackling climate change.

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Green GB and NI Week 2018

Green GB & NI Week 2018 brought the whole country together to mark the 10 year anniversary of the Climate Change Act.Last year’s week saw over 100 events take place across the UK to highlight the benefits of clean growth, how we can all contribute to tackling climate change and celebrate UK leadership. These events ranged from the European launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report, the first clean growth innovation summit, a day of events on green finance, business roundtables, webinars, a range of community events to a careers fair.

But it wasn’t just a week of events, across the internet 600 businesses, organisations, local authorities andcharities used the hashtag #GreenGB, sparking conversations about climate change and clean growth across numerousonline platforms. Over 60 pledges were made by businesses across the week, including from Amazon, HSBC and John Lewis.These pledges will cut emissions while continuing to grow the economy.

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Businesses and universities

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

Our ambition, under our modern Industrial Strategy, is for the UK to be at the forefront of providing low carbon technologies, innovative systems and services that will be needed as the world acts to tackle climate change.Already there are almost 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains and, the sector has the potential to support up to 2 million jobs by 2030.

The government is supporting businesses to invest in research and innovation, for example through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Businesses also have significant opportunities to reduce their own 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.

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You, your friends and family

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.

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.