Committee on Climate Change expert ANSWERS

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Chris has been Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change since April 2018. His previous role was Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of Scotland’s approach to emissions-reduction and the accompanying energy system transition.

Q) Is everyone turning vegan a situation we will all have to face? From valuable_moth Michael Faraday School

A) Thanks for your question! Reducing emissions from farming and land use is one of the many challenges that will need to be tackled in the years ahead. One of the ways to do this is to eat slightly less meat (as cattle and sheep produce harmful emissions). Healthier diets, including moderate amounts of beef, lamb and dairy products would be beneficial, but we are not saying everyone needs to become vegan.

Q) What plans have the government agreed to so far? From creative_sparrow, The Ruth Gorse Academy

A) Great question! The government has just agreed to put a tougher emissions target into law, which means the UK is the first major industrialised country to commit to end its contribution to global warming within the next 30 years (by 2050). Next year, the UK hopes to host a climate change conference with world leaders to talk about the next steps for action. Here in the UK we need to take more action if we are to reduce emissions from homes, transport, business and industry and the way we use our land - and this needs to happen quickly.

Here in the UK we need to take more action if we are to reduce emissions from homes, transport, business and industry and the way we use our land - and this needs to happen quickly.

Chris Stark, Committee on Climate Change

Q) If Climate Change is such a problem, then why isn't stuff being done about it? From communicative_bird, Ravenscroft Primary School

A) Thanks for your question. Climate Change is a global problem, and it requires everyone to take action to limit the polluting gases that cause climate change, and to prepare for climate change impacts. To date, almost all countries have signed the ‘Paris Agreement’ – which commits nations to take action to tackle and prepare for climate change with the aim of limiting global temperature rise and ensuring we are all ready for the impacts of a warming world. The agreement is leading to improved efforts to tackle the problem. This is positive, but more must be done and that needs to start now.

Q)What could we do as normal people in a situation like climate change and how can we help? From benevolent_planet, St Gregory's Catholic Primary School C

A) Great question, there is a lot we can all do to help tackle climate change! You could:

  • choose to walk and cycle or take public transport instead of taking the car
  • eat a healthy diet, for example with less beef, lamb and dairy
  • make sure to reduce, re-use and recycle waste
  • look for changes that you can make in your school to reduce emissions
  • talk about your experiences and help to raise awareness of the need to act

Q) How expensive is ' building a low-carbon economy'? From fantastic_duck at Faringdon Community College

A) There are costs from transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but there are many benefits too. For example, it costs money to build wind turbines which produce energy and batteries which are needed in electric cars. The benefits are really important and include better air quality, healthier lifestyles, improved health and new business opportunities from clean growth. The evidence shows that action is necessary and worthwhile.

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