UK Must Lead the World Theresa May the Prime Minister said in a statement while meeting science and engineering students that the UK must lead the world on the climate change. “This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth. Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations,” she said. The government also rejected the option of making use of so-called international carbon credits to help reach net zero by 2050, whereby a country can pay for cuts elsewhere in lieu of its own carbon emissions. May said this kind of offsetting has a history of failure and was rejected by the CCC as not being cost efficient. Number 10 has said there will be a review in five years to make sure that other countries were also taking ambitious action so that British industry was not facing unfair competition. France has also proposed bringing in net zero emissions legislation later this year and some countries with much smaller populations have already set dates to reach net zero well before 2050, such as Finland in 2035 and Norway in 2030. But the reality of achieving this is a very different question. Britain is already way off target from meeting its mid-term carbon emissions set for the previous 80% cut by 2050. “UK policy is still way off the mark and the foundations are not in place to be able to meet this target. Even with all the evidence before us, we are still opening new coal mines, extending Heathrow airport and pushing forward with fracking,” Professor Phil Taylor, head of engineering at Newcastle University, told the BBC. It is also a possibility that the legislation could be overturned or changed by future governments, although on the climate change issue, MPs at the moment are in agreement and the majority of the future Tory leadership candidates are also backing it.]]>

Edward Cowley