Britain sets deadline for carbon neutrality by 2050

Katie Ramirez
June 14, 2019

Commenting on the announcement, May said: "As the first country to legislate for long-term climate targets, we can be truly proud of our record in tackling climate change".

In its report, the Committee on Climate Change forecast significant benefits to public health and savings to the NHS from better air quality and less noise pollution, as well as improved biodiversity.

"Standing by is not an option".

Prime Minister Theresa May said legislation to wipe out the UK's net contribution to rising global temperatures will be put to members of Parliament, endorsing a report from advisers that shows what a carbon-neutral future would have to look like. This will be checked within five years to confirm that the UK's move has prompted ambitious climate action by other countries and to also ensure that the UK's industries do not face unfair competition. "Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations", the Prime Minister said.

Mrs May also announced the establishment of a Youth Steering Group to advise on government priorities for the environment.

"Whilst it will be for future governments to determine the precise direction of future climate policy, the Committee on Climate Change acknowledge that we have laid strong foundations through our Clean Growth Strategy and taken action to tackle climate change across key sectors of the economy identified by the report".

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The sentiment echoes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said earlier that she wants to see Trump behind bars. He again said it's a "genius set-up" because the media "will fall right into [Trump's] trap".

However the government has moved to confirm that a review will be conducted within five years of the target being set to confirm that other nations are taking similarly ambitious actions in a bid to ensure United Kingdom industries do not face "unfair competition". Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK Chief Scientist, was cited by the Guardian as warning that relying on global carbon credits would undermine the UK's commitment to fighting climate change as it shifts the burden to developing nations.

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said that it will be important to get the balance right between medium-term solutions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen, and short-term solutions such as addressing United Kingdom policy costs like those that result in high power costs for business. "Governments and policymakers will need to work closely with industry to ensure emissions are not simply exported elsewhere whilst domestic manufacturing is rendered uncompetitive".

The head of global policy at Christian Aid, Dr Alison Doig, said: "The Climate Change Committee advised the Government not to include any worldwide offsets in their net-zero calculations; so it's disappointing to see the Government keeping this option open".

More than 10,000 people are expected in Westminster to speak to their MP about climate change as part of the Time Is Now mass lobby of Parliament on 26 June, organised by the Climate Coalition.

"Climate leadership can drive United Kingdom competitiveness and secure long-term prosperity".

"Some sectors will need clear pathways to enable investment in low-carbon technologies, and it is vital that there is cross-government coordination on the policies and regulation needed to deliver a clean future". 80 percent of the homes we will be living in, in 2050, have already been built, meaning foremost a national retrofit programme has to be seriously considered and implemented to bring these into net-zero targets. We now have the chance to put the United Kingdom, and its engineers, as leaders and deliver real solutions to these complex problems. The government has not yet moved formally to include global aviation and shipping within the target, but they have acknowledged that these sectors must be part of the whole economy strategy for net zero. If we are to meet the challenge of climate change, we need worldwide partners across the world to step up to this level of ambition.

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