United Kingdom to set 2050 net zero emissions goal

Theresa May the Prime Minister

Having recommended the government to legislate for such a target - with the crucial requirement that the target is taken seriously and met with sufficient policy action - Lord Deben, chairman at the Committee on Climate Change, said the committee was delighted the government had agreed to put the target to a parliamentary vote.

A statement by Prime Minister Theresa May hinted that reduction in pollution, will also ultimately improve public health by cutting down NHS costs.

The UK government will legislate for a net zero economy by 2050 Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed, in one of her last acts in office. For that reason, the United Kingdom will conduct a further assessment within 5 years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the UK's lead and ensuring that our industries do not face unfair competition.

But he also said the government will review the net-zero target within five years to ensure that other countries are taking "similarly ambitious action" and that United Kingdom businesses do not face "unfair competition".

"This is a big moment for everyone in the climate movement and particularly to the youth climate strikers, who rightly should advise on future climate and environmental policy".

"We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions", commented May.

Britain is to become the first major economy to adopt laws that require no fossil-fuel emissions by 2050 to fight climate change.

For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape future United Kingdom climate policy through the Youth Steering Group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, which will advise Government on priorities for environmental action and give a view on progress to date against existing commitments on climate, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss.

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The committee published its recommendations for the government in May this year, suggesting the country introduces a ban on new petrol and diesel cars sales from 2035.

The Government said it would retain the ability to use worldwide carbon credits, which allow the United Kingdom to pay to offset its emissions elsewhere in the world.

"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", she said.

The UK already has a 2050 target - to reduce emissions by 80%. We now have the chance to put the United Kingdom, and its engineers, as leaders and deliver real solutions to these complex problems.

Matt Rooney, Engineering Policy Adviser at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said that the new target should be seen as an opportunity for the United Kingdom to lead the development of new technologies but highlighted the importance of skills and training to meet the target. "Christians and people of all faiths have long called for action on climate change to both preserve the natural world on which we all rely, and to protect God's creation for generations to come".

The Welsh Government has also announced that it intends to meet the net zero by 2050 target, even though the CCC only recommended 95% reductions for Wales as its large agricultural sector will be hard to decarbonise.

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