UK to end contribution to climate change by 2050

Hot on the heels of CEO Nigel Wilson's letter, The Prime Minister has today announced that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050.

Theresa May will also meet young science and engineering students today to discuss the ambitious new target, which is based on advice from independent experts: the Committee on Climate Change. Highlights include:

  • UK to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, improving public health, air quality and biodiversity 
  • Legislation laid today puts UK on path to become the first major economy to set net zero emissions target in law 
  • Next generation to advise Government on environment and climate change policy through Youth Steering Group

The UK already leads the world in tackling climate change, and Government commissioned this advice in October having recognised the need to go even further to limit its effects.

This legislation will mean that the UK is on track to become the first G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions, with other major economies expected to follow suit. But it is imperative that other major economies follow suit. For that reason, the UK 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.

For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape our future climate policy through the Youth Steering Group. The Group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, 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. They will start their review in July.

Nigel Wilson recently wrote to Downing Street; requesting that government 'act immediately' on installing legislation that will achieve net-zero gas emissions by 2050.

As the first country to legislate for long-term climate targets, we can be truly proud of our record in tackling climate change. We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions.

Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth.

Standing by is not an option. 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.

Prime Minister Theresa May

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