Theresa May unveils plan to make United Kingdom carbon neutral by 2050

Oil companies are under increasing pressure to move away from fossil fuels as world demand and emissions continue to climb

Oil companies are under increasing pressure to move away from fossil fuels as world demand and emissions continue to climb

The country will also continue to work with its worldwide partners to tackle climate change, including through the British bid to host COP26 in 2020. Agreed by MPs under the Climate Change Act 2008, the United Kingdom government was to reduce emissions by 80%, but the new plan will follow tougher amendments.

The UK Government has introduced a new plan to tackle the problem of climate change. However, the Government plans to perform a review in five years to see if other countries are also taking similar action to ensure that United Kingdom industries don't face unfair competition, echoing a concern raised by Hammond.

The motion calls for the city to upgrade its greenhouse-gas emissions targets to those outlined in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which states that the world has about 12 years left to try to avoid climate catastrophe due to rising greenhouse-gas emissions. "The IPCC report also says we have 11 years to meet our Paris targets to avert catastrophic climate change".

"We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions", commented May.

"Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children", she said. "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", May said. "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.

While the United Kingdom has significantly reduced emissions in the power sector through the increase of renewable energy and shutting down of coal-fired plants, other sectors such as transport, heating, housing, and industry have proven much more hard to decarbonise. "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". According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) report "Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Survey", businesses active in the low carbon and renewable energy economy generated £44.5 billion in turnover in 2017, employing an estimated 209,500 full-time equivalent employees.

More than 10,000 people are expected in Westminster to speak to their MP about climate change as part of the Time Is Now mass lobby of Parliament on 26 June, organised by the Climate Coalition. Climate leadership can drive United Kingdom competitiveness and secure long-term prosperity but the legislation must be followed by a commitment to long-term policies that support decarbonisation across the economy. "While the pathway remains unclear, it is vital that investment continues to flow into areas that have already had a material impact on the UK's decarbonisation". To do this, we need to see both policy and industry leadership to ensure the built environment is at the vanguard of emissions reductions. "There is also a vast opportunity for advancements in digital technology to drive efficiency and deliver savings".

"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 United Kingdom to a position of worldwide 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 1.5º Celsius".

"Tackling climate change is the ultimate goal and one engineers and technologists now and in the future can be inspired and motivated to achieve" Mr Robottom said.

Matt Rooney, Engineering Policy Adviser at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said that the new target should be seen as an opportunity for the United Kingdom to lead the development of new technologies but highlighted the importance of skills and training to meet the target. "If we get that balance right, then the United Kingdom chemical industry and its 140,000 skilled workers across the country can help accelerate the delivery of green solutions, benefitting society and the environment". District heating or heat networks are vital to achieving the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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