Global carbon emissions rose at the fastest rate in seven years

Global carbon emissions rose at the fastest rate in seven years

Global carbon emissions rose at the fastest rate in seven years

"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".

May, who is due to step down this summer after her political career became a casualty of the turmoil over Brexit, said legislation would be put before parliament on Wednesday to incorporate the new target into an existing climate change act. "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".

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said: "Government has shown today the right leadership in legislating for a 2050 net-zero target".

The Campaign for Better Transport has also said that government transport policy must rapidly change to meet the net zero target.

However, the Government has been urged to follow up with tough actions. This caveat to its legally binding target was first proposed by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who previously caused anger among green campaigners by claiming that spending cuts for schools, hospitals and the police force would be needed to fund total decarbonisation of the United Kingdom economy, which he estimated at £1trn.

Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace U.K., said the plan is something Britain can be proud of, but said the target date should be moved forward.

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The UK Government has also said it will conduct a further assessment within five years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the UK's lead and ensuring that industries do not face unfair competition.

Britain's independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, recommended last month that the country move to the new target, which implies sweeping changes in energy, transport and agriculture.

The UK has been one of the more successful countries in cutting emissions and it intends to stop burning coal for power generation by 2025.

However, the Government's plans, due to be laid in Parliament this afternoon, will deviate from the CCC recommendations through the use of worldwide carbon credits. In making a climate-emergency declaration, the government commits to making policies that fight climate change. "At a time when society is increasingly concerned about climate change and the need for action, energy demand and emissions are growing at their fastest rate for years", Dale said. Carbon emissions from energy use grew by two per cent, the fastest expansion for many years, according to an analysis by the company's chief economist Spencer Dale.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn DBE, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, said that United Kingdom business "stands squarely" behind the government's plans but that the legislation must be followed by "long-term" policies to support decarbonisation.

"Some sectors will need clear pathways to enable investment in low-carbon technologies, and it is vital that there is cross-government coordination on the policies and regulation needed to deliver a clean future".

"The power sector has led the way in helping reduce the UK's carbon emissions". Households would also need to be weaned off natural gas heating and switch to low-carbon alternatives. 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.

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