This government committed to legislating for a net zero emissions target in its Clean Growth Strategy and last year wrote to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) asking for advice on whether we should set a date.
Today the CCC published its advice recommending a 2050 net zero emissions target.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark said:
Few subjects unite people across generations and borders like climate change and I share the passion of those wanting to halt its catastrophic effects.
One of our proudest achievements as a country is our position as a world-leader in tackling this global challenge, being the first country to raise the issue on the international stage, introduce long-term legally-binding carbon reduction targets and cutting emissions further than all other G20 countries. Today’s report recognises the work we’ve done to lay the foundations to build a net zero economy, from generating record levels of low carbon electricity to our ambitious plans to transition to electric vehicles.
To continue the UK’s global leadership we asked the CCC to advise the government on how and when we could achieve net zero. This report now sets us on a path to become the first major economy to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely.
- We are convinced of the urgency of action on climate change, which is why we asked for this advice from the Committee on Climate Change last October.
- We are not immediately accepting the recommendations set out in the Committee on Climate Change’s detailed
report but will be responding in due course to ensure the UK continues to be a world leader in tackling climate change.
- The UK is committed to tackling climate change and we are a world leader in cutting emissions while creating wealth. Between 1990 and 2017, the UK reduced its emissions by over 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds.
- In October 2017, we published our Clean Growth Strategy, setting out our plans for meeting our carbon targets and our ambition to legislate for a net zero emissions target. Since then we have continued to bring forward new policy and deliver on the strategy.
- We also put clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy through making it one of four ‘Grand Challenges’, boosted by significant innovation funding.
- We’ve heard the urgent calls to protect our wildlife and habitats, and we are already acting to do so. Our ambitious 25 Year Environment Plan outlines our commitment to supporting and protecting the world’s most biodiverse forests, supporting sustainable agriculture and enhancing sustainability, and supporting zero-deforestation supply chains.
- As the Environment Secretary said, the transition to a clean economy “will require us to change the way in which our energy is generated, change the way in which our homes are built, change the way in which our land is managed and farming operates. But that change is absolutely necessary.”
- We are playing a leading role internationally, at COP24 in Katowice, we reached global agreement on a robust and transparent rulebook to drive genuine climate action.
- As a world leader in clean growth, we recognise the need to ensure the momentum generated by the Paris Agreement is maintained. Everyone is feeling the impacts of climate change and we know that we need to work with other countries, civil society and businesses to drive ambitious action together.
- To energise the country we’ve set a date for this year’s Green GB Week. From 4 November all parts of society will be hosting events to showcase the challenge and the opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy. More information can be found here.
- We have therefore offered to host COP26 in 2020, and we are committed to ensuring it is a success.