The UK must cut its CO2 emissions by 85% before the end of the decade to allow the earth to recover from the impact of human production and consumption, according to the WWF.
In its latest report, Thriving Within Our Planetary Means, the organisation set out a raft of recommendations to be achieved by 2030 in areas including air and chemical pollution, biomass consumption, degradation and land use change, and nutrient use.
It also said the UK has a disproportionately high impact on climate and nature, and the country needs to play its part to remain within planetary limits, the point at which irreversible damage could be triggered.
The report concluded that the UK’s per capita greenhouse gas footprint is more than six times the limit and its per capita biomass consumption footprint is nearly double.
The report also noted that nearly half of the UK’s carbon footprint comes from imports, reinforcing the importance of organisations using their purchasing power to positively influence their supply chain.
Carbon Visibility CEO Neil Armstrong said: “This is a fascinating report from WWF, which demonstrates very clearly how quickly the UK needs to mobilise as a nation to begin overturning our negative impact on the planet.
“We were very interested to see the impact that imports have on our greenhouse gas emissions as this resonates with our mission to make companies responsible for the environmental harms caused by those they buy from.
“We are continuing to work with businesses to help them calculate their carbon footprint, how their supply chain contributes to this and how all can work together to reduce it.”
WWF said the UK needs to reduce its footprint in the relevant areas by 75% by 2030, with the following recommendations:
- Ensure UK agricultural and forestry supply chains cause zero deforestation and ecosystem conversion by 2023
- Reduce material consumption – that is the raw materials needed to satisfy demand for goods and commodities – by 40% by 2030
- Reduce biomass consumption (consumption of agricultural products, animal products, forestry products) by 50% by 2030
- Ensure 100% of marine resources are from sustainable sources by 2030
- Ensure all bodies of water in the UK have good ecological status and good chemical status by 2027
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