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Theresa May unveils plan to make United Kingdom carbon neutral by 2050

Theresa May unveils plan to make United Kingdom carbon neutral by 2050

"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", stated Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK.

For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape future United Kingdom climate policy through the Youth Steering Group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, which 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.

It also added that if other countries followed the example of the United Kingdom, there is a 50-50 possibility of achieving the target-which is staying below 1.5C temperature by 2100; 1.5C being the recommended threshold for unsafe climate change. In making a climate-emergency declaration, the government commits to making policies that fight climate change. "Lord Deben, head of the committee on climate change, said it sent 'a strong signal to other countries to follow suit".

The director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, Richard Black, who guest-edited the Church Times environment issue (12 October 2018), said: "This is probably the most important United Kingdom move on climate change since Parliament brought in the Climate Change Act more than a decade ago".

The UK will retain the ability to use global carbon credits within an appropriate monitoring, reporting and verification framework, allowing the UK to maximise the value of each pound spent on climate change mitigation.

The Climate Change Act 2008 committed the United Kingdom to reduce net emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

"This is a major commitment for the coming decades, but we have highlighted the significant benefits of action".

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"Net-zero can be achieved but only if the ambition is supported by the right policies". That means emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry will have to be avoided completely or - in the most hard examples - offset by planting trees or sucking Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape our future climate policy through the Youth Steering Group.

Under this act, the government has used the terminology "net zero" greenhouse gases by 2050.

"Judging by the headline, this is a legacy Theresa May can be proud of".

The president of the National Farmers' Union, Minette Batters, has pledged that her sector will be net zero by 2040.

"Using worldwide credits within an appropriate monitoring, reporting and verification framework is the right thing to do for the planet, allowing the United Kingdom to maximise the value of each pound spent on climate change mitigation", it said. This type of offsetting has a history of failure and is not, according the government's climate advisors, cost efficient. "While the loopholes being woven in by the Treasury will need to be unpicked, and the date moved forward, this decision fires the starting for a fundamental transformation of our economy". "The government must immediately upgrade our electricity, construction, heating, agriculture and transport systems", Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, said.

"Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, and according to the IPCC report this will have major impacts on the health of our communities, our economies and our infrastructure".


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