Prime Minister, Teresa May, has announced that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050.
The statutory instrument to implement was laid in Parliament yesterday and amends the Climate Change Act 2008.
The UK already leads the world in tackling climate change, and government commissioned this advice in October, having recognised the need to go even further to limit its effects.
In its report, the Committee on Climate Change forecast significant benefits to public health and savings to the NHS from better air quality and less noise pollution, as well as improved biodiversity.
This legislation will mean that the UK is on track to become the first G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions, with other major economies expected to follow suit. But it says that is imperative that other major economies do that, and for that reason, the UK will conduct a further assessment within five years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action.
For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape our future climate policy through the Youth Steering Group. The group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, will advise government on priorities for environmental action and give a view on progress to date against existing commitments on climate, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss. They will start their review in July.
Prime Minister, Theresa 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 have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions.
“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. 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.
“Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations.”