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UK leading the developed world in emissions legislation

Date: 25-Jun-19
Author: Liam Taylor

In making the commitment to net zero emissions, the UK has become the first G7 member nation to do so. Image: Luca Micheli/Unsplash © Luca Micheli/Unsplash

In making the commitment to net zero emissions, the UK has become the first G7 member nation to do so. Image: Luca Micheli/Unsplash

The UK led the world during the industrial revolution, a period where greenhouse gas emissions skyrocketed. Now the nation is committing to leading the way to a greener future.

In what will be one of her final moves as prime minister, Theresa May announced a legally binding agreement to achieve zero net emissions by 2050 earlier this month. In doing so the UK has become both the first major economy and the first major polluting nation to make such a strong commitment to emissions reductions.

In a press conference, Prime Minister May said the move to legislate for long-term climate targets meant taking care of future generations.

“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,” Mrs. May said in a press conference.

The 2050 target is being implemented as a statutory instrument, meaning it does not require a vote from members of parliament. This has been applauded by environmental groups, as putting the motion to parliament would undoubtedly slow down the process of both making the commitment and putting it into action.

In 2018, the UK’s net emissions of carbon dioxide were provisionally estimated to be 364.1 million tonnes, around 2.4 percent lower than 2017 figures. The country has invested significantly into renewable energy technology (particularly offshore wind power) in recent years, moves that are expected to help dramatically reduce current emissions.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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