Concerted action on transport needed to back UK's net zero goal

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Last night's announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May sets out that a new United Kingdom emissions target of net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050 will be legislated for to replace the current target of an 80% reduction against 1990 levels.

The 2050 net zero target was recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, however the Government has rejected its advice not to use worldwide carbon credits. District heating or heat networks are vital to achieving the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The UK Government has also said it will conduct a further assessment within five years to confirm that other countries are taking similarly ambitious action, multiplying the effect of the UK's lead and ensuring that industries do not face unfair competition.

Environmental groups welcomed that goal but criticsed that the United Kingdom would still use global carbon credits in order to achieve the goal.

"Using worldwide credits within an appropriate monitoring, reporting and verification framework is the right thing to do for the planet, allowing the U.K.to maximise the value of each pound spent on climate change mitigation", the government statement said.

The Prime Minister, said: "As the first country to legislate for long-term climate targets, we can be truly proud of our record in tackling climate change".

"We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions", commented May. As our recent Future of Energy report highlighted, we need to go further and faster in areas like decarbonising transport and heating and improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses.

"This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth", said May.

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"Delivering this ambitious new target for a new generation of mobility systems presents big challenges to every player in the transport arena; automotive, energy, government, fleets and, of course, consumers... but together we can - and must - develop, communicate and deliver the plan to get us to Net Zero".

THE UK will pledge to end its contribution to climate change by 2050, according to new plans laid out by the Prime Minister on Wednesday. That was agreed by MPs under the Climate Change Act in 2008, but will now be amended to the new, much tougher, goal.

The Campaign for Better Transport has also said that government transport policy must rapidly change to meet the net zero target.

"This can only happen with consistent and bold policy-making from across all government departments to support the target and we look forward to working with the government to achieve our shared ambition".

"There is little doubt that in the same way the Apollo missions to the moon led to a spike in the number of engineers and scientists, a nationwide, government-endorsed net zero greenhouse gas programme will lead to the recruitment of more (and more diverse) entrants to the sector".

Our members are poised to deliver and ready to work collaboratively with Government to introduce it into people's homes, businesses and into the United Kingdom transport network. "Public support for net zero is key, and so we must have the tools to deliver for them".

"While the loopholes being woven into the legislation by the Treasury will need to be unpicked, and the date moved forward, this decision fires the starting gun for a fundamental transformation of our economy", the group's chief United Kingdom scientist Doug Parr said.

More than 10,000 people are expected in Westminster to speak to their MP about climate change as part of the Time Is Now mass lobby of Parliament on 26 June, organised by the Climate Coalition.

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