UK must aim for net zero emissions to tackle climate change

The UK government should enshrine net zero emissions in UK law to cement its leadership on tackling climate change.

That was the call made this morning in a letter published by the Guardian and signed by environmental lawyer and ClientEarth CEO James Thornton. He joined business leaders, environmental campaigners and MPs of all major parties to praise the UK’s work for an ambitious deal at the Paris COP21 talks and calling for the government to back up its promises at home.

The letter calls for the UK Climate Change Act to commit the UK to set a date by which we will achieve net zero emissions. This means emitting no more greenhouse gas emissions than we extract from the atmosphere.

The letter says: “We urge [the government] to follow up its high ambition internationally, with high ambition here at home. Specifically, it can build on the momentum from Paris by supporting the idea of enshrining net zero emissions in UK domestic law, with the date to be advised by the independent committee on climate change.”

Net zero emissions commitment a truly significant move

James Thornton added: “Today I signed on behalf of ClientEarth a cross-party initiative that calls upon Parliament to bring the UK Climate Change Act into line with the Paris agreement.

“If Parliament goes ahead and does this it will be one of the most significant things it could do for the environment.

“This is what every country now needs to do: line up their national laws with the Paris agreement. To do so would put the UK once again in the leadership position globally in using law to protect the climate.”

Read the full letter: UK must aim for zero emissions at home too

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