Response to Government plan to legislate for Net Zero UK emissions target

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has responded to news that the UK Government will bring forward legislation to set a Net Zero target into law. The announcement was made today by the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

CCC Chairman, Lord Deben said:

“We are delighted that the government has agreed to put a 2050 Net Zero target for all greenhouse gases to a parliamentary vote. I look forward to the same cross-party consensus that we saw in 2008, when the Climate Change Act became law.

“Our report concluded that Net Zero is necessary, feasible and cost effective. This is a major commitment for the coming decades, but we have highlighted the significant benefits of action. This step will send a strong signal to other countries to follow suit – and will help to drive the global effort to tackle climate change required by the Paris Agreement.

“This is just the first step. The target must now be reinforced by credible UK policies, across government, inspiring a strong response from business, industry and society as a whole. The government has not yet moved formally to include international aviation and shipping within the target, but they have acknowledged that these sectors must be part of the whole economy strategy for net zero. We will assist by providing further analysis of how emissions reductions can be delivered in these sectors through domestic and international frameworks.

“The Committee on Climate Change will now move to the task of providing advice on the detailed path to net zero. Our statutory advice to government on the UK’s Carbon Budgets to 2037 is due next year.”

Notes to editors

  • On 2 May 2019, the Committee published its advice to Government on a Net Zero target for the UK, read the full report here.
  • Read the Scottish government’s announcement in response to the Committee’s advice here.
  • Read the Welsh government’s announcement in response to the Committee’s advice here.

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