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UK becomes first major economy to pass net zero emission law

Thu 27 June 2019 | Back to news list

The UK has become the first major economy in the world to legislate to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The legislation amends the 2008 Climate Change Act which set a target for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels).
 
The Government says that the UK has so far reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 42% (while growing the economy by 72%) and "has put clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy". 
 
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said: "The UK kick-started the Industrial Revolution, which was responsible for economic growth across the globe but also for increasing emissions.
 
"Today we’re leading the world yet again in becoming the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 while remaining committed to growing the economy - putting clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy."
 
The Government's announcement is a response to the Committee on Climate Change's recent statement calling for a net zero 2050 target.
 
Responding the the original CCC announcement, LowCVP's Managing Director Andy Eastlake said: "This is an important moment in terms of our national efforts to tackle climate change and one with international significance. The Climate Change Act has been the foundation of moves to decarbonise the UK economy and this shows that the Government is reaffirming its commitment and further strengthening reduction targets.
 
"But it's vital that targets are backed by robust, practical and fair policies that can deliver the objectives. Climate change cannot be an optional extra, it must be front and centre when we're developing policies in transport, as well as other key areas of the economy.
 
"Transport is one of the most challenging areas for decarbonisation (as the SMMT's latest summary, published today shows) and has, so far, proved one of the most intractable. There are real signs of progress - in road transport at least - but much more must be done by Government and all other key stakeholders to ramp up progress and help ensure that the UK is, at least, amongst countries leading the world into a new green, clean industrial revolution.
 
"Delivering this ambitious new target for a new generation of mobility systems presents big challenges to every player in the transport arena; automotive, energy, government, fleets and, of course, consumers...but together we can - and must - develop, communicate and deliver the plan to get us to Net Zero”.
 
Diary note: July 8, London. Don't miss the LowCVP's Annual Conference: 'Future Fuels on the Road to Zero'. 


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