The MP Rachel Reeves is to present a bill to parliament tomorrow (11 June) which would commit the government to reducing UK carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050.
The bill would amend the Climate Change Act 2008 to require net United Kingdom carbon emissions to be net zero by 2050 and to include international aviation and international shipping in the calculation of such emissions.
It also echoes the call from the recent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report for the UK to end its contribution to global warming within 30 years by setting an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
‘In the UK we have a golden opportunity to deliver environmental benefits, new jobs, and sustainable green industries, but this won’t happen without a co-ordinated, cross-departmental effort from government and a cast-iron commitment to achieving a net-zero target,’ said Ms Reeves.
‘In presenting this bill, I want to bring home to the government the urgent need to commit to the net-zero 2050 target and give the UK the best possible chance of meeting this challenge. But the reality is that a new act is not even necessary.
‘If the government wished, it could bring forward secondary legislation amending the 2008 Climate Change Act to enshrine the net-zero target in law. Strong, early action on cutting carbon emissions considerably outweigh the costs.’
The chair of the environmental audit select committee, Mary Creagh said: ‘We owe it to our children to win this fight and we will need greener cities, greener cars, greener diets, greener finance, and a much greener government. We have the evidence, technology and know-how to reshape how we eat, travel, consume, work and build our future.
‘The government must now legislate to put net-zero into law and I’m proud to support Rachel’s bill. The longer we delay the harder and more expensive it will be.’