Theresa May called on to commit to ambitious climate target
— Fifty Conservative MPs have called on Theresa May to adopt an ambitious target of cutting carbon emissions to net zero before 2050, to show international leadership on climate change and protect British jobs.
Former ministers Damian Green, Oliver Letwin and Anna Soubry are among the signatories of the letter to the prime minister, which said that a stronger long-term goal would cut energy bills and improve air quality.
The UK is committed to cut emissions by 80% by 2050. But the government recently asked its climate advisers to consider whether a deeper cut is needed in the light of a landmark UN report on the risks posed by global warming.
Simon Clarke, the Brexiter Tory MP who organised the letter, said: “By setting a net-zero target before 2050 we can ensure the UK is at the forefront of the zero-carbon technological revolution whilst cementing our status as a global climate leader.”
More than 160 MPs have signed the plea to May, including from Labour, the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green party. Organisers hope to get 100 Tory MPs signed up by the time the government’s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, reports back next spring.
Meeting a goal of net-zero emissions before 2050 would require far-reaching changes beyond those already under way in energy, buildings and transport.
But the letter’s signatories argue it would put the UK “at the forefront of the race for investment in clean industries”, and build on a history of “British ingenuity” in science and engineering.
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used his conference speech in September to commit the party to a target of net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. The letter calls for the goal to be met before 2050 but there is no agreed date – WWF said this week that 2045 was possible.
The intervention comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act receiving royal assent on Monday, the same day the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is due to publish a major report on how global warming will affect the UK.
by Adam Vaughan | The Guardian