The UK will review its long-term climate target and explore how to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2050, Environment Minister Claire Perry announced Tuesday.

The UK is the first G7 country to commit to such an analysis, which would seek to align the country’s emissions trajectory to the Paris agreement‘s more ambitious goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C.


The review will happen after the IPCC releases its special report on 1.5°C in October in order to use the best and most recent science, Perry said. Laurence Tubiana, a key architect of the Paris agreement, praised the announcement: “This decision … sends a strong message to the EU and other big economies … it’s time they too considered what more they can do.”

As reported by The Guardian:

“Ways of meeting the net-zero target could include investing in projects to grow trees and restore soils, to take up greater carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as more controversial measures such as investing in emissions reduction projects overseas. Even with such methods, the UK is likely to have to bring forward targets on phasing out diesel and petrol engines, and expand renewable energy generation and, potentially, nuclear power.

Many actions under Conservative-led governments since 2010, however, have dismayed climate campaigners and may have to be reconsidered. These include the failure to insulate the UK’s draughty homes, limits on renewable energy, the scrapping of carbon capture and storage projects and tax breaks for fossil fuels.”

For a deeper dive:

The Guardian, Reuters, Independent, Carbon Brief, FT, Climate Home, BusinessGreen

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