Newbury MP Richard Benyon has celebrated new legislation introduced by the Prime Minister today to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The UK was the first country to implement legally binding emission reduction targets in the Climate Change Act 2008, and this legislation makes the UK the first leading economy to implement net zero as well.
Richard is a member of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) MP Caucus, which has consistently pushed for a net zero commitment from the Government. Commenting on the news, he said:
“Today’s announcement will safeguard our natural environment, improve public health, air quality and biodiversity, and promote clean-tech jobs. Local residents from West Berkshire have called on the Government to do more to tackle climate change, and so I’m delighted about today’s news.
“Ambitious plans are needed to tackle climate change and today’s announcement has proved our commitment to do exactly that. By enshrining this target into law, the Prime Minister has shown that UK can and will meet the challenges of climate change and be one of the first countries in the world to commit to play our part to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”
Implementing a net zero emissions target means that electricity, transport and heating will need to use alternative energy sources to fossil fuels to decarbonise. However, in some industries like aviation and shipping, some emissions will remain. Therefore increased tree planting and carbon capture technologies will be utilised to remove these emissions from the atmosphere - thus leading to ‘net zero’.
Richard added, “Climate change is the biggest challenge our world faces. This net zero target is the first step to addressing that challenge - now we need to make sure that we have the right policies in place to meet the target and end our contribution to climate change by 2050.”
Sam Richards, Director of CEN said: “Richard has been instrumental in our work to encourage the Government to adopt a net zero emissions target. Today’s announcement has cemented the importance of this work. If we fail to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, we risk seeing increasing flood damage here in the UK, the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, as well as severe economic consequences. But with today’s announcement, the UK is fighting back against the effects of climate change and is instead working towards delivering