In the final throes of Theresa May term as the UK’s Prime Minister, she committed the UK to a law that will require future UK Governments to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Now, that commitment is realised today…
The legislation was officially signed this morning by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore MP, who commented that:
“The UK kick-started the Industrial Revolution, which was responsible for economic growth across the globe but also for increasing emissions,” Skidmore said.
“Today we’re leading the world yet again in becoming the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, while remaining committed to growing the economy – putting clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.
“We’re pioneering the way for other countries to follow in our footsteps driving prosperity by seizing the economic opportunities of becoming a greener economy.”
The new legislation: The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 (2019 No. 1056) amends the Climate Change Act 2008, which itself was ground-breaking when introduced into UK legislation.
It should be recognised that the term “Net-Zero” is not used in the legislation & that the Amendment Order is not about the UK having no carbon emissions by 2050.
The amendment in the Order has the effect that the minimum percentage by which the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 must be lower than the 1990 baseline is increased from 80% to 100%.
This is defined in the Amendment Order as the change of the target from 80% to 100% for the UK’s “net UK carbon account” (the amount of net UK emissions of targeted greenhouse gases for a period adjusted by the amount of carbon units credited or debited to the account) for the year 2050.
From the date when the Amendment Order comes into force (28 June 2019), the duty on the UK Government is to ensure that the net UK carbon account is lower than the “1990 baseline” (the baseline of net UK emissions of targeted greenhouse gases against 100% as the minimum percentage) by 2050.
A copy of The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 (2019 No. 1056) & the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum can be downloaded from the links in this article.