It’s happened! Following my Bill which I recently presented to Parliament calling for a legal requirement to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, I am absolutely delighted that the Government has now decided to back this call. Net zero target will shortly be the law of the land.
This is a truly historic milestone. It makes us the first country in the G7 group of advanced economies to put this bold target into law.
I have long believed we needed to take radical action - and drafted the bill before the Extinction Rebellion protests. Although the UK is currently on course for an 80% reduction (the best performance by any G7 country by the way) in emissions compared to 1990 levels, the science is now clear: if we continue to pump even that remaining 20% of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate change will accelerate, meaning catastrophe for our wildlife, glaciers and coral reefs. We have to stop it.
I am so grateful to the many people in Cheltenham who got behind this campaign – including students from schools ranging from Dunalley Primary School to Charlton Kings Junior School who have written to me. They can take great pride in the role that they have played.
Net zero doesn’t mean we need to destroy our economy or jobs. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity for a project of national economic renewal. British ingenuity has placed the UK at the cutting edge of technological advances in science and engineering. And as leading business experts including Lord Adair Turner and the CBI agree, we can harness and perfect new technologies, and sell them to the rest of the world.
It doesn’t mean getting to net zero will be easy. But there is a great prize. A vibrant and healthy planet teeming with biodiversity. A modern country at the cutting edge of scientific and manufacturing technology. A cleaner, greener Cheltenham.
Thank you for helping to make this happen.