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UK Climate Change Committee: Government should aim for net zero emissions by 2050

By 2 May 2019August 9th, 2019No Comments

Today, the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the government’s top advisory body on climate changepublished report on net zerorecommending that the UK legislate to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. The recommendation comes just one day after the UK Parliament approved a motion to declare an ‘environment and climate emergency.’ The Welsh and Scottish governments have recently done the same. 

Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to accept the recommendation, and the government could prepare ‘secondary legislation’ based on the 2008 Climate Change Act.  

The same day the CCC’s report was released, Scotland confirmed it will legislate based on the Committee’s recommendations, with the goal of reducing emissions to net zero by 2045. 

Top lines recommendations from the report include:  

  • Scotland should target net zero by 2045, while Wales should aim for 95 percent reductions by 2050 
  • Thnet zero goal is quite broad, encompassing sectors like aviation and shipping 
  • The net-zero target requires an economy-wide overhaul, but the costs to get to net zero would equate to just 1-2 percent of 2050 GDP 
  • The sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars should end by 2035 at the last, but electric vehicles will be cheaper by 2030 
  • International emissions credits should not be included when accounting for net zero emissions