Climate change deal: 'Zero carbon' laws promised by UK government
Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said. Under current law, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050, but ministers have said this is not enough. Following the deal in Paris, it is clear the UK must not increase CO2 because the warming threat is so severe, they added.
No details of the law change have been given - and critics said the UK was failing to meet even current targets. The global climate agreement, which was finalised at a summit in Paris in December, commits to keeping global temperatures "well below" 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity.
Speaking in the Commons, energy minister Andrea Leadsom said government believed it was necessary "to take the step of enshrining the Paris commitment to net zero emissions in UK law". "The question is not whether but how we do it. And there are an important set of questions to be answered before we do," she said.
"This is an example once again of the House demonstration on a cross-party basis a determination to tackle climate change." The statement was welcomed by the cross-party group of MPs which pressed for the climate law to be tightened.
Ex-Labour leader and former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband told BBC News: "This will send a signal to other countries this is the right thing to do.
"We very much welcome what they (ministers) have done - now we've got to make sure the government deliver on it."