Spearheading Climate Reform
Leading from the front and spearheading climate reform, Prime Minister Theresa May has enshrined in law pioneering commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and making Great Britain the first major economy to do so.
The target, recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels.
In order to make this historic move possible, a huge transformation of energy, transport and buildings will be required. These efforts will be aided by young people between the ages of 15-24 who will provide recommendations to government ministers on how to meet these updated goals. The Youth Steering Group, established in February, is there to provide such a perspective on issues including climate issues, wildlife and efforts to curb plastic use.
The commitment to ‘net zero’ will require efforts on both local and national level. The role of local government will certainly be key with council led aims likely to have a large impact. For example, Liverpool City Council is aiming to make the city the UK’s first ‘climate positive’ city by the end of 2020. Joe Anderson, mayor of the City of Liverpool said: “We are already making significant strides to reduce our impact by 40% by 2030, but that is not enough.”
Following the statement by Prime Minister May urging the G20 countries to follow suit and make similar commitments, suggesting other countries should, “raise their ambition and embrace this target.”, other major economies at the G20 World Summit have indicated their willingness to increase their commitments to curb greenhouse gases by aiming for “net zero” emissions by 2050.
“The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations. Our ability to come together to stop or limit damage to the world’s environment will be perhaps the greatest test of how far we can act as a world community. No-one should under-estimate the imagination that will be required, nor the scientific effort, nor the unprecedented co-operation we shall have to show. We shall need statesmanship of a rare order.”
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Author Nick Witts,
PR, Media & Communications – Climate Specialist at Treasure Earth Prize