In a new interview with CMRubinWorld, John Lang, who manages the energy and climate intelligence unit’s netzero tracker, discusses the world’s race to net zero. Lang specialises in communicating climate science and policy to the public.
The world needs to take emissions down from roughly 40 billion tonnes to zero in a matter of decades. “Leaders have largely accepted the math of tackling climate change,” stated John Lang. “Now we just need more countries to adopt robust, credible net zero targets that are genuine, not greenwash.”
Examples that Lang cites in this new interview with C.M. Rubin are Sweden, which has set a target of net zero by 2045.
It lists interim emission targets in its Climate Policy Framework: 63% lower by 2030 and 75% lower by 2040. “These targets cover all greenhouse gasses,” said Lang. In the past three decades, the UK grew its economy by 75% and still reduced emissions by 43%. “This is largely to do with the country retiring coal-fired electricity,” noted Lang.
He added that policy has helped the UK. “For example, the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008 set up a climate change commission to advise the government and required five-year carbon budgets to be set 12 years in advance.” Lang believes the UK still has a long way to go, “but it’s in a better position to deliver on its promises than other nations.”
This month, the Protect our Planet Movement in association with Planet Classroom launched Net Zero, a video and podcast series in which 24 youth climate activists from the Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement in association with Planet Classroom will ask international thought leaders working on the environment the big questions as to how their nations are progressing towards their 2050 net zero pledges.