UK wants to reach “zero carbon” by 2050

The UK government has just announced a new plan to fight climate change. Objective: To achieve the “net zero” of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

A 2008 law in the United Kingdom was already aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. In view of the latest alarming reports on the climate, the cradle of the industrial revolution has nevertheless revised its copy. And it aims to no longer emit any carbon in 2050. The British now join the very closed club of nations that set the bar very high. These include Norway (before 2030), Finland (before 2035), and Sweden (before 2045). If the law is adopted, the United Kingdom would also become the first G7 country to commit to such a measure through legislation.

Recent reports on the climate have not been really good. Some reports can even be considered alarming. Indeed, a new study published recently predicts 140 million climate refugees in 2050, another suggests that global warming could reduce marine life by 17%. Not to mention the melting ice, and rising sea levels. The leaders of the planet must therefore take their responsibilities. This new announcement from the British government is therefore welcomed with respect. But to achieve such an objective, it must be emphasized that drastic measures will have to be taken.

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All sectors will have to be involved. Transportation first, but also agriculture and industry. Green energies will thus have to be financed. And inevitably, it will be expensive. Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested that this new target could cost the country more than 1 trillion euros. Acting Energy Minister Chris Skidmore estimates investments of 1-2% of national GDP.

“Around 30 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 will get together to discuss ways to reach these goals,” the Guardian reports. Their recommendations will be presented to the ministers concerned at the start of the school year. The Youth Steering Group, created in February to give opinions on all subjects, has just been given an advisory mission on major crises related to climate, species protection and plastics.

Though the goal seems ambitious, it is well worth the effort, according to environmentalists. If other countries pledge the same way, then we would put all the chances on our side to limit the rise of the temperature to 1,5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2100. It remains to be seen if the deadline – 2050 – is not too late. The consequences of accelerated global warming are indeed becoming more and more felt, and such measures will probably have to be taken in the shorter term.

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Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.