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Greener energy: a timeline

The UK has thirty years to reach Net Zero, having passed laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

But that’s a long time away, and in the meantime there are plenty of other major targets around energy use and broader environmental goals. Here are some of the most important.


The COP26 climate negotiations - the most significant since Paris in 2015 - will take place in Glasgow. The meeting was due to be held in 2020, but was postponed due to coronavirus.


Implementation of zero-emissions zone planned for Oxford. The city had planned to introduce the UK’s first city centre Zero Emission Zone in December this year, but was delayed due to coronavirus.


The UK has committed to plant 11 million trees by 2022, a target that campaigners say will not be achieved. 

Greener energy - a timeline 1 (1)


One year ahead of a broader UK target, by 2024, Scottish new-build homes must use renewable or low-carbon heat solutions


By 2025, there are plans for all new UK homes to be supplied with low-carbon heating and have no new connections to the gas grid.


Wales plans to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030.

Greener energy - a timeline 2


By 2030, Scotland is aiming for the equivalent of 50% of the energy for the country’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied by renewable sources.


Effects of air pollution on health to be halved by 2030 as a result of the UK meeting legally binding targets to reduce emissions of five damaging air pollutants.


Sales of both new diesel and petrol cars to be stopped entirely in the UK, to promote electric vehicles as an alternative. This date has been moved forward from 2040.

Greener energy - a timeline 3


UK target for eliminating avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.


Date by which Scotland aims to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.


Date by which the UK aims to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.


Aim for 12% of England to be covered in woodland by 2060, which would involve planting 180,000 hectares by the end of 2042.

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