LONDON-The UK has been dealt a “brutal reality check” on its climate change ambitions, environmentalists have said.

The government’s official climate change advisers warn ministers are failing to cut emissions fast enough, and adapt to rising temperatures. Committee on Climate Change chair John Gummer likened them to the hapless characters in 1970s comedy Dad’s Army.

The government said it would soon set out plans to tackle emissions from aviation, heat, energy and transport.

The prime minister recently announced that the UK would lead the world by cutting almost all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - so-called net zero.

Theresa May also aspired to the UK hosting a hugely important global climate summit next year. But the CCC said that the UK was already stumbling over measures needed to achieve the previous target of an 80% emissions cut.

Its report says new policies must be found to help people lead good lives without fuelling global warming. Policies are needed to ensure that people living in care homes, hospitals and flats can stay cool in increasingly hot summers.

And ministers must show how funds will be found to protect critical infrastructure - like ports - from rising sea levels.

The committee said unless it delivered on these issues, the government would not have the credibility to host a global climate change summit of world leaders, likely to be held in the UK next year.

Doug Parr from Greenpeace UK said: “This is a truly brutal reality check on the government’s current progress in tackling the climate emergency.

“It paints the government as a sleeper who’s woken up, seen the house is on fire, raised the alarm and gone straight back to sleep”.

The committee’s deputy chairwoman Baroness Brown told BBC News: “There’s an increasing sense of frustration that the government knows what it has to do - but it’s just not doing it.” The committee said the government’s 2040 goal to eliminate emissions from cars and vans was too late.

New ways must be found to nudge some drivers into walking, cycling and taking public transport, it believes.

There’s palpable annoyance from the committee that their recommendations are often ignored. In the list of actions needed to meet emission targets, such as improving insulation of buildings and increasing the market share of electric vehicles, the committee found only seven out of 24 goals were on track.

Outside the power and industry sectors, only two indicators were on track.

Committee chairman Lord Deben, the former agriculture minister John Gummer, said: “The whole thing is really run by the government like a Dad’s Army. We can’t go on with this ramshackle system.”