UK Government announces zero-emissions target

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The UK Government has announced it will enshrine in law a Paris climate change treaty to reach a zero emissions target.

Though the UK already agreed to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, this move will target the final 20 per cent which the Climate Change Act from 2008 does not address. This is likely to come from the farming sector, which has proven notoriously difficult to decarbonise.

“The government believes that we will need to take the step of enshrining the Paris goal for net zero emissions in UK law.” energy minister Andrea Leadsom told MPs, referring to the historic treaty that was signed by 200 countries last December. Future governments will also be encouraged to enshrine the pact in law.

“The question is not whether but how we do it,” she added.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband was pleased by Leadsom’s comments, having called for the zero emissions target to be legislated before the Paris climate treaty took place last year.

“It is the right thing to do because the science demands it, it makes economic sense and will build momentum in the fight against climate change,” he said. Earlier he proposed a ‘zero emissions’ amendment to the energy bill, which was backed by several parties.

“It is essential we build on the success of the Paris agreement and do not squander it, and I hope other countries will now follow the example of the UK.” he added.

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