Rachel Reeves’ proposed legislation comes after the call from the recent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report for the UK to stop its contribution to global warming within 30 years by establishing an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Achieving a ‘net-zero’ target by 2050 is in line with the UK’s commitment under the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 to curb the polluting gases that cause climate change.
Ms. Reeves commented that:
The Committee on Climate Change’s recent report sets out a compelling case for the UK to reach net zero by 2050. The facts are clear. The moral imperative to act for our children and future generations is overwhelming. It’s now time for the Government to commit to this target and then come forward with the policies, actions, and regulations needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050
She added that she aspires to make the Government commit to the net-zero 2050 target and give the UK the best possible chance of succeeding in this challenge.
UK's Climate Change Act 2008 prescribes that economy-wide annual emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 must be at least 80% less than 1990 levels. The Bill presented by Rachel Reeves would amend the Climate Change Act 2008 to mandate net United Kingdom carbon emissions to be net zero by 2050 and include international aviation and international shipping in the calculation of such emissions.
Ms. Reeves has also published a draft Statutory Instrument (SI) which would enable the Government to achieve the same result of setting the net-zero target in law but do so faster, disposing of the need to go through the lengthier parliamentary process needed for a Bill.
Reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is no longer a lofty eco-warrior ambition, but will require change everywhere, by everyone, in every sector and at speed
Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, stated.