Britain Promises Net-zero Emissions by 2050
Great Britain recently upped the ante on its commitment to fight climate change. Britain promises to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The new government plan is more ambitious than its original Climate Change Act from 2008, which pledged to reduce emissions by 80 percent. Prime Minister Theresa May claimed net-zero is a necessary step for Britain. A moral duty as well as a strategy to improve public health and reduce healthcare costs.
Britain is the first G7 country to propose carbon neutrality. An ambitious goal that environmentalists hope will encourage other nations to follow suit. Also, increasing their Paris Agreement emission reduction commitments.
According to Prime Minister May, Britain’s economy can continue to grow alongside the transition to renewable energy. “We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions,” she said.
Net-zero will mean that all homes, transportation, farming and industries won’t consume more energy than the country can generate. For certain cases where this is impossible, it will mean that companies and industries purchase carbon offsets.
The roll out of this plan must include a variety of individual- and national-level actions. Including a massive investment in the renewable energy industry, as well as a reduction in meat consumption and flying. A total shift to electric cars, LED light bulbs and hydrogen gas heating.
According to BBC, Prime Minister May also claimed that the U.K.
“led the world to wealth through fossil fuels in the industrial revolution. So, it was appropriate for Britain to lead in the opposite direction.”
This claim erases the true legacy of the industrial revolution and the role Britain played. Including environmental destruction, exacerbated inequality and economic exploitation of many nations, not wealth.
Whether or not Britain is a world leader, its pledge might convince other nations to reduce emissions.