UK climate report: What your life could be like in a low-carbon future



The UK has already cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent since 1990. Most people will not have noticed, because the lion’s share of those reductions have come from switches to electricity supply behind the scenes – the closure of polluting coal plants, and more renewables and gas.

But the measures needed to reach net zero by 2050, as laid out in a report released today by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, require more drastic changes to daily life.

If you buy a new UK home from 2025, it won’t be connected to the gas grid, but will use heat delivered from a central source, heat pumps or even hydrogen produced with carbon capture and storage. The 80 per cent of homes that rely on gas boilers today will have to eventually replace them with such alternatives.

In general, homes and buildings will look much the same but consume much less energy through energy efficiency improvements.


Within a decade, you may no longer be able to buy – or want to buy, because of running costs – a petrol or diesel car. Electric cars will become the norm as charging points proliferate.

You will still be able to take a plane, but if you are a frequent flyer, you will have to fly much less. Zero-carbon planes will be not be ready even by 2050, but by the 2040s, you might be travelling on ones that are a hybrids running on electric batteries and jet fuel.

People in the UK will need to eat at least 20 per cent less beef, lamb and dairy than now, something the CCC believes is conservative