Loading
Breaking
Now Reading: AMBITIOUS BUT ESSENTIAL | Britain eyes net zero emissions law by 2050
AMBITIOUS BUT ESSENTIAL | Britain eyes net zero emissions law by 2050
June 12, 2019 , 05:59 PM

JUNE 12, 2019 (Reuters) — Britain has announced it will enshrine a new commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law, marking a first among G7 nations facing increasingly severe impacts from the climate crisis.

With global carbon emissions at record highs despite decades of talks aimed at bringing them within safe limits, outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May said the goal was ambitious but essential for protecting Earth’s future.

“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children,” she said in a statement.

“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.”

Britain’s existing target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. However, campaigners say this does not go far enough to meet pledges made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to try to limit a rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures have already risen about one degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. Scientists warn further increases risk triggering tipping points that could render swathes of the globe uninhabitable, devastate farming and drown coastal cities.

May, who is due to step down this summer after her political career became a casualty of the turmoil over Brexit, said legislation would be put before parliament on Wednesday to incorporate the new target into an existing climate change act.

Although May had staked her legacy on delivering an orderly exit from the European Union to respect the result of a 2016 referendum, the new target earned her praise from climate specialists heartened by any sign of greater ambition from a major economy.

“It’s momentous,” said David Reay, professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh. “Achieving net zero by 2050 will change all our lives. It will transform the ways we travel, the homes we live in and the food we eat.”

Britain’s independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, recommended last month that the country move to the new target, which implies sweeping changes in energy, transport and agriculture.

For example, new petrol and diesel cars might need to be phased out by at least 2035, the committee said. Households would also need to be weaned off natural gas heating and switch to low-carbon alternatives.

Although the new target has cast Britain as a relative climate leader, the government’s decisions to back projects such as a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport and fracking have raised questions about the depth of its commitment.

Extinction Rebellion, a climate movement that paralyzed parts of London with a civil disobedience campaign in April, said Britain was still not acting quickly enough.

“Were we to put our minds to it and do what is required to mobilize society to address the threat with the seriousness it deserves, the UK could embrace transformative change and decarbonize in years, not decades,” the group said.

ENERGY TRANSITION

Nevertheless, many businesses see big opportunities in any low-carbon transition, hoping progress at home will help innovative British companies grow rapidly in emerging markets hungry for climate-friendly goods and services.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), welcomed the new target and emphasised the need for coordination to deliver the necessary changes.

“Some sectors will need clear pathways to enable investment in low-carbon technologies, and it is vital that there is cross-government coordination on the policies and regulation needed to deliver a clean future,” she said.

Britain hopes its decision will encourage other governments to adopt more ambitious climate targets and said that a further assessment would take place within five years to discern the extent to which other countries are taking similar action.

The government also said it would continue to use international carbon credits to help meet the target – a move some see as a loophole to allow polluters to stay in business.

“Fiddling the figures would put a huge dent in our ability to avoid catastrophic climate change,” environmental group Friends of the Earth said in a statement. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale Editing by Mark Heinrich)

More From News5
Matinding training ni Pacman
Alam na umano ng kampo ni Manny Pacquiao ang kahinaan ng makakalaban niyang si Keith Thurman.
Published On: June 14, 2019
Girian sa protesta sa Hong Kong
Tinututulan ng libu-libong raliyista ang extradition bill na layong malitis sa mainland China ang mga suspek mula sa Hong Kong.
Published On: June 14, 2019
Lumubog na bangka sa Recto bank
Sakay nito ang 22 Pilipino nang mabangga ng hinihinalang Chinese fishing vessel sa West Philippine Sea.
Published On: June 14, 2019
WOTD | Contempt of Court
Alamin ang iba't ibang termino sa usapang legal kasama si Atty. Mel Sta. Maria
Published On: June 14, 2019
Laban para sa anak
Nagpatulong ang ginang na mabawi ang kanyang anak sa dati niyang nobyo.
Published On: June 14, 2019
Sangley airport
Inutos na ni Pres. Rodrigo Duterte na simulan ang operasyon sa Sangley airport, Cavite para mabawasan ang pasahero sa NAIA.
Published On: June 14, 2019
Nakawan sa NAIA?
Inireklamo ng grupo ng mga banyaga ang pagnanakaw umano ng tauhan ng NAIA sa kasamahan nilang Chinese.
Published On: June 14, 2019
Always On Channel | April 25, 2019
Follow News5 and stay updated with the latest stories! Facebook: facebook.com/News5Everywhere Twitter: twitter.com/news5aksyon Instagram: @news5everywhere Website: news5.com.ph
Published On: April 25, 2019
Matrix sa ouster plot?
Itinanggi ng mga mamamahayag na nasa matrix na sangkot sila sa planong pagpapatalsik kay Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. | Maricel Halili Follow News5 and stay updated with the latest stories! Facebook: facebook.com/News5Everywhere Twitter: twitter.com/news5aksyon Instagram: @news5everywhere Website: news5.com.ph
Published On: April 24, 2019
Agawan ng teritoryo sa China
Sinisi muli ni Pres. Rodrigo Duterte si dating Pres. Noynoy Aquino sa paglala ng tensyon sa West Philippine Sea. Follow News5 and stay updated with the latest stories! Facebook: facebook.com/News5Everywhere Twitter: twitter.com/news5aksyon Instagram: @news5everywhere Website: news5.com.ph
Published On: April 24, 2019
Top Stories
GOODBYE, MANOY | Actor Eddie Garcia passes away at 90
JUNE 20, 2019 — Actor Eduardo “Eddie” Garcia has passed away at 4:55 p.m. on Monday. He was 90 years old. The Makati Medical Center,
Published On: June 20, 2019
OVERWORKED, UNDERPAID | PNA warns gov’t against ongoing nursing crisis
JUNE 20, 2019 — The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) warned the government about the ongoing nursing crisis in the country brought about by lo
Published On: June 20, 2019
‘YET TO EXPLAIN WEALTH’ | Trillanes accuses Duterte of being ‘corrupt himself’
JUNE 20, 2019 — Outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes has accused President Rodrigo Duterte of being corrupt himself, after the executive leader cla
Published On: June 20, 2019
EQUAL PAY | Teachers party-list demands pay equivalent to military and police wages
JUNE 20,2019 — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list demanded on Thursday a raise in teachers salaries for them to equal those rece
Published On: June 20, 2019
TO DETER DATA RULES | U.S. tells India it is mulling caps on H-1B visas sources
JUNE 20, 2019 (Reuters) — The United States has told India it is considering caps on H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to
Published On: June 20, 2019