From the Grauniad
The UK will enshrine in law a long-term goal of reducing its carbon emissions to zero, as called for in last year’s historic Paris climate deal.
Responding to former Labour leader Ed Miliband’s call to put the target into law, energy minister Andrea Leadsom told parliament on Monday: “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.”
The UK is already legally bound by the Climate Change Act to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, but a law mandating a 100% cut would mark a dramatic increase in ambition. The final 20% is seen as the most difficult to cut, as it would have to come from sectors such as farming, which are not as easy to decarbonise as power plants.
Miliband, who played a key role in legislating the Climate Change Act and who called for zero emissions to be enshrined in law ahead of the Paris climate summit in December, welcomed Leadsom’s comments.
“It is the right thing to do because the science demands it, it makes economic sense and will build momentum in the fight against climate change,” said Miliband, who had tabled an amendment on zero emissions to the energy bill that won cross-party backing.
“It is essential we build on the success of the Paris agreement and do not squander it, and I hope other countries will now follow the example of the UK.”