I am pleased that the UK will become the first major economy in the world to end its contribution towards global warming, as a new law to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Last year the Government commissioned an independent panel of experts to advise on achieving net zero. After careful consideration of their report, published in May, the Prime Minister has now announced that the UK will legislate to end its contribution to global warming.
This is excellent news and builds on the good work already happening. The UK has reduced emissions faster than any other advanced country in the world, with 2018 the cleanest and greenest year on record. By legislating for net zero, will now go even further, phasing out coal power, committing billions of pounds to develop new renewable technologies and creating hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs.
By investing in green industries and decarbonising our economy we will leave the environment in a better state for the next generation – carrying on a long tradition of making sensible, workable policies that protect the planet while growing the economy.
We have made good progress to date but there is still more to do.
Achievements to date:
- Phasing out coal power, leading to two full weeks without burning any coal – the longest time since the Industrial Revolution. Britain has already had 1,500 coal free hours in 2019 so far, as total coal power use has dropped by almost two-thirds compared with the first four months of 2018. Coal is due to be phased out completely by 2025.
- Supporting renewable technologies, securing the future of clean energy in the UK. £92 billion has been invested by businesses in clean energy since 2010 and renewables now generate 37.1 per cent of the UK’s electricity, up from 6.1 per cent in 2010.
- Creating hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs, growing our economy while reducing emissions. Investment has meant there are almost 400,000 people working in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the country.
- Reducing greenhouse gases by a quarter since coming to office in 2010. In 2010, total greenhouse gases were 600.2 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. In 2018, this had fallen by 25 per cent to 448.5 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent.
- Increasing renewable electricity generation six-fold. 2018 was the greenest year to date for electricity generation, with renewable sources supplying a record 33 per cent of electricity in 2018, up from 29 per cent in 2017, and up from 6.7 per cent in 2009.
- Reducing emissions faster than any other G20 country. A study by PwC found that the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G20 country, reducing emissions by 29 per cent in the last decade alone, while continuing to grow our economy.