Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Net-zero policy reaction: 'The time for waiting is over'

Net-zero policy reaction: 'The time for waiting is over'

LONDON-Greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom will be cut to nearly zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change.

Britain's independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, last month said that the country should move to the new target, which would require more renewable electricity generation and could require the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars by at least 2035. District heating or heat networks are vital to achieving the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Conservatives have failed to support world leading tidal, solar and wind industries when 99.4% of United Kingdom export finance in the energy sector goes on fossil fuels it is hard to take their commitment seriously.

It also said it would retain its ability to use global carbon credits to help to meet the target.

"And it's going to act as a massive spur to the UK's bid to host the United Nations climate summit in 2020, because the UK can now legitimately say that it has done what all governments will have to soon: committing to ending its contribution to climate change".

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. We know that investing in zero carbon solutions is good for growth - boosting jobs and the economy - and it is cheaper for business, organisations and government to tackle climate change now than to manage its impacts in the future".

"Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children", she said.

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"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", said May. 'This is an ambitious target but it's one that is crucial for us to achieve and it will take us working across the whole breadth of society to do that, ' she said.

However, if this turns out not to be the case, the United Kingdom will legally be allowed to revoke its net-zero legislation and revert to the Climate Change Act's original target. The new target will amend the Climate Change Act and make net reductions by 100% - the new legally-binding target.

The Government also announced that the Youth Steering Group, set up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the British Youth Council, will start a review of the UK's climate policy in July and be able to give their views to the Government and advise on action.

The country now aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. "This autumn's National Infrastructure Strategy must be unambiguously bold in using the assessment to set a clear and achievable path to ensure the United Kingdom becomes a low-carbon nation". "In the coming weeks the Government should commit to restarting the programme of rail electrification; bringing forward to 2030 the ban on the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles; outlining further incentives to rapidly grow the market in electric vehicles in the United Kingdom; and start work on publishing a national strategy for buses with investment to grow the network and green the bus fleet to be published by 2020".

"With today's net zero laws, all levels of government, business and society now have a legal framework and a declaration of ambition showing that the United Kingdom intends to lead the world on climate action". "The engineering challenges involved are daunting and as a country we need to ensure that our workers have the competencies to deliver net zero".

And Greenpeace UK also called for rather stringent action. As our recent Future of Energy report highlighted, we need to go further and faster in areas like decarbonising transport and heating and improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses.

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