Climate Change: government commits to cut emissions to zero by 2050

Greenhouse emissions from a factory credit Mohri UN CECARThe government has announced tougher plans to tackle climate change by pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to almost zero by, the year 2050.

Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, MPs agreed to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, but this will now change under the terms of the new law.

The news was welcomed by the Revd Dr David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church (URC) National Synod of Scotland, who presented a resolution at the URC’s Mission Council in May that called on the Church to divest from fossil fuel companies and which was unanimously approved.

‘This is an important step but only a start,’ said Dr Pickering. ‘That will help reduce the risk of climate catastrophe and improve the lives of citizens.

‘As Britain led the industrial revolution fuelled by polluting coal, oil and gas, so Britain has a moral obligation to lead a new green revolution. I hope that before long, and in line with climate science, the government may be emboldened to bring the target date of net zero carbon emissions significantly forward and transition to a better world sooner.’  

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager for Operation Noah, who helped Dr Pickering prepare his resolution, echoed the concern, adding: 'It is welcome that a commitment to reaching net-zero emissions will be enshrined into UK law.

‘However, the UK must reach net-zero emissions much sooner than 2050, given our historical responsibility and economic means to make the transition. A rapid shift of investment is now needed from fossil fuels to the clean technologies of the future. The time to act is now.'

Picture: Greenhouse gas emissions from a factory by Mohri UN-CECAR/Flickr
Published: 17 June 2019