Comment on UK net zero law

Published:12 June 2019

Commenting on the news that the Government intends to put a UK target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law, Richard Black, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said:

“This is probably the most important UK move on climate change since Parliament brought in the Climate Change Act more than a decade ago.

“By becoming the first major nation to set a net zero target in national legislation, ahead of the likes of France and Germany, it restores the UK to a position of international leadership with a target that’s fully in line with science and will deliver the UK’s fair share of keeping global warming below the ‘safe’ level of 1.5 Celsius.

“It brings the clarity that business has been asking for, enabling companies to make rational investment decisions and so make the clean energy transition as efficient as possible.

“And it’s going to act as a massive spur to the UK’s bid to host the UN climate summit in 2020, because the UK can now legitimately say that it has done what all governments will have to soon, committing to ending its contribution to climate change.”

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Church of England lead on environmental affairs, said:

“Christians and people of all faiths have long called for action on climate change to both preserve the natural world on which we all rely, and to protect God’s creation for generations to come.

“The impacts of climate change affect all of us, but the world’s poorest are most vulnerable to extreme weather events and the least able to cope with these impacts, making it imperative for us as Christians to push to action to deal with these threats. This is a moral issue, not one to be solely decided on how much it will cost.

“Ours is the first generation to know truly the full scale of the risks posed by climate change and may be the last to be able to do anything meaningful about it. That is why committing to end our contribution to climate change here in the UK is so important.”

Ann Jones, National Federation of Women's Institutes Vice-Chair and Chair of the WI Public Affairs Committee said:

“The WI has a proud history of campaigning on environmental issues and, with climate change one of the most serious threats we face, it’s fantastic to see the Government making such a strong commitment to tackling the problem.

“As a farmer I have seen first-hand the impact of climate change on the natural environment in the Cambrian Mountains where I live. It is this threat to the British countryside and wildlife that we love, as well the challenges to future generations, that make WI members so determined to face this problem now.

“Across the country WI members are playing their part by raising awareness within their local communities about other urgent need to tackle climate change. We are delighted that the Government has recognised we need further and faster action. If we get this right, not only will we be able to live cleaner, healthier lifestyles, we will have safeguarded our world for the future.”