The world could reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as early as the 2040s if governments set “more stretching goals” and were willing to make “bold policy decisions”, according to climate expert Nigel Topping, who served for two years as the high-level champion for the UK’s presidency of the UN COP26 climate summit in an interview with The Guardian. Based on his experience, he suggests that governments could act significantly faster on climate without harming their countries’ competitiveness or alarming the business community. The UK’s Climate Change Committee produced a “plausible scenario” which would see it reach net zero by 2042. Despite praising governments looking to phase out fossil fuel vehicles and support the uptake of electric counterparts, Topping noted that some sectors, such as oil, gas and coal, were standing in the way of progress. “Given that we’ve now got California and Germany saying 2045 is their target, I think you can argue quite strongly that the whole world could get to net zero in the early 2040s, and in many sectors in the late 2030s,” he added.
— Nigel Topping (@topnigel) January 9, 2023