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Government Promise Zero Carbon Laws

March 15, 2016
Environmental Protection

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom, has promised that laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions to zero. Talking in the commons yesterday, she said; “The government believes that we will need to take the step of enshrining the Paris goal for net zero emissions in UK law. The question is not whether but how we do it, and there are an important set of questions to be answered before we do. This is an example once again of the House demonstration on a cross-party basis a determination to tackle climate change.”

The move has the agreement of a mixed group of MP’s including former Labour leader Ed Milliband, who had been pressing for climate laws to be tightened. Under the Climate Change Act 2008, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 but following the global climate agreement signed in Paris, which committed to keeping global temperature rise below 2oc, it has become clear that further action needs to be taken. No details of the changes have been given but the United Nations climate science panel believes emissions need to be cut to zero by 2070.

Later this year, ministers will have to decide whether to accept the so-called fifth carbon budget recommended by the governments committee on climate change of a carbon cut of 57% by 2032. Last year saw atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide jump by the highest amount on record to above 400 parts per million.