FANTASTIC NEWS! Britain is the first major economy to legally commit to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by an amendment today to the Climate Change Act.
Everyone can contribute to achieving zero carbon emissions. We can do small things like changing our lightbulbs to LED ones or using our cars less, to changing our energy sources to Solar PV, air source heat pumps and electric vehicles
Doug Parr, the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, said the target was “a big moment for everyone in the climate movement” and a legacy May could be proud of. However, he said the “loopholes” of allowing international carbon credits would need to be unpicked and the target date moved forward.
Chris Hewett, CEO at the STA (Solar Trade Association) said “Solar can not only provide clean electricity, but that low cost power can also be used to produce hydrogen and green ammonia, both of which could contribute greatly to the decarbonisation of our homes, transport and shipping sectors. Solar has been key to driving innovation in battery storage and electric vehicles, and it can be scaled to power one home or an entire city. The popularity, affordability and accessibility of solar means it can play a major role now in delivery Net Zero.”
Theresa May said it was “the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. Standing by is not an option, it is crucial to achieve this to protect our planet for future generations.”
Last week No 10 dismissed claims from the chancellor, Philip Hammond, that such a target would cost £1tn and could thus require spending cuts to public services. Downing Street poured scorn last week on Hammond’s warnings, disclosed in a leaked letter, saying the supposed £1tn figure ignored both the economic benefits of action and the costs of not doing anything. A Treasury source said Hammond fully backed the 2050 net zero target but had pushed for a full costing of the plan to make sure it did not negatively impact on other areas of public spending.
The UK’s official Committee On Climate Change (CCC) recommended the 2050 target. John Gummer, the CCC chair, said last month it was “essential” that international carbon credits were not used, whereby a country can pay for cuts elsewhere in lieu of domestic emissions.