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UK committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050

The UK will commit to a new legally-binding goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to almost zero by 2050. It is the most ambitious long-term climate change goal of a G7 economy to date.

This amends the Climate Change Act 2008 under which the UK committed to an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Committee on Climate Change said in its report that the goal would bring benefits to public health and savings to the NHS from better air quality and less noise pollution, in addition to improved biodiversity.

“It is imperative that other major economies follow suit,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “For that reason, the U.K. will conduct a further assessment within five years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the U.K.’s lead and ensuring that our industries do not face unfair competition.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“As the first country to legislate for long-term climate targets, we can be truly proud of our record in tackling climate change. We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions.

“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. 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.”

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark said:

“We want to continue our global leadership and that’s why we are introducing a legally binding net zero target to end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely by 2050. The report we commissioned from the Committee on Climate Change makes clear that we have laid the foundations to achieve a net zero emissions economy, and that it is necessary and feasible.

“Almost 400,000 people are already employed in the low-carbon sector and its supply chains across the country. Through our modern Industrial Strategy we’re investing in clean growth to ensure we reap the rewards and create two million high quality jobs by 2030.”