UK 2050 Objective: ‘net-zero’ for all carbon emissions

That means the government plans to reduce emissions all the way to nothing, and has 30 years to do it.


The government has officially introducing legislation that will mandate Britain to reduce carbon emissions to ‘net-zero’ by 2050 – This means that all emission must either be ceased or offset (think, planting trees).

Thus making the UK the first major economy, and G7 member, to legally commit to going carbon-neutral. Norway and Finland have now also pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2030 and 2035, Scotland by 2045 and France by 2050. The government’s original target, proposed in the Climate Change Act of 2008, was a reduction of 80 per cent.

The UK’s Committee on Climate Change, which recommended the 2050 target that the UK set, explains that if additional countries follow the UK, there’s a 50 percent chance we could avoid a potentially dangerous 1.5 degree temperature increase until past 2100 (author of calculations unknown).

Going totally carbon-neutral is a massive endeavor, so people’s lifestyles will have to change, perhaps most significantly, the way we get around. The government has already said sales of petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2040, but are facing pressure to move this date up to only a decade away. Then there’s the issue of infrastructure, and how the necessary electricity will be generated. Sad to see you go fossil fuels.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said “the transition in markets and manufacturing capabilities, however, needs to be managed carefully”. Achieving the government’s target requires “significant investment in infrastructure, long term consumer incentives and further policies and financial commitments that encourage drivers into new vehicles and technologies”.

What are your thoughts, How are we going to be getting around in 30 years’ time?