Dear Boris, Here are 10 tips for reducing the UK’s carbon footprint…

IF Researcher Melissa Bui and Co-Founder Angus Hanton outline 10 steps that the Prime Minister can take to steer the UK towards its goal of carbon neutrality

After securing a Conservative majority, Mr Johnson now has the political power to do as he pleases. Here is a brief overview of 10 top tips for the Prime Minister if ensuring that a better, carbon-neutral future for young people is a key priority on his agenda:

  1. Discourage flying by raising flight prices – this can be achieved through taxing aviation fuel and raising air passenger duty tax for both long-haul and short-haul flights. Although long-haul flights emit more carbon emissions in total, short-haul flights emit more per mile travelled due to the high carbon impact of take-off, landing and taxi operations. Both types of journeys should therefore become more expensive.
  2. Improve travel substitutes for short journeys – trains, coaches and ferries are all lower-carbon alternatives to flying over shorter distances.
  3. Remove the heavy tax subsidies on oil production so that oil companies pump out less oil. Also propose taxes that will increase the price of petrol and encourage more efficient use of public transport.
  4. Improve public transport, particularly in rural areas of the UK to reduce the reliance on cars for daily commitments, like getting to work.
  5. Tax forestry in a way that encourages people to cut down fewer trees and later, so that our forests store more carbon.
  6. Disincentivise high-carbon and intensive meat production. Eligibility for farming subsidies is due to change after Brexit: farming subsidies will be distributed according to the environmental impact and quality of farmers’ operations, rather than the volume of land used in production. This provides a key window of opportunity to incentivise lower meat production too.
  7. Raise the price of meat through introducing a meat tax. This can lead to additional savings through lowering spending on treating diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, which have been linked to excessive meat consumption.
  8. Restore the Feed-in Tariff that helped householders generate their own electricity through solar panels and wind turbines.
  9. Establish trade deals with countries in close proximity to the UK to minimise the carbon emissions associated with importing and exporting goods.
  10. Encourage the use of sustainable, healthy foods in schools, hospitals and prisons.


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