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UK to be Carbon Neutral by 2050
Prime Minister Theresa May announced the UK will aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This comes in response to a report from the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change and makes the UK the first major economy to commit to attaining net zero carbon output.
May went on to acknowledge that the UK led the world to wealth through fossil fuels in the industrial revolution, so it was appropriate for Britain to now lead in the opposite direction, the BBC reports.
The zero carbon target means emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry will have to be reduced to nil or, when this is impossible, offset by planting trees or removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Controversially the target also allows for international carbon credits and so far does not mention aviation or shipping directly.
The Climate Change Committee’s report states that if other countries follow the UK lead, there is a 50-50 chance of staying below the crucial 1.5C temperature rise by 2100. A 1.5C increase is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change by the UN.
Environmental group Extinction Rebellion has called for the UK to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025. It says 2050 is not soon enough to eliminate emissions in order to ensure that the temperature rise stays well below 2C.
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