Climate Action

Labour aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to zero by 2050

Labour have announced that they will commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to zero by 2050.

  • 25 September 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

Labour have announced that they will commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to zero by 2050.

Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “The potential benefits of transitioning to a sustainable economy are enormous and we want to make sure these are shared by everyone. Our transition to net zero emissions will involve working closely with energy unions to ensure that we tackle climate change in a way that delivers good jobs.”

This news follows a report published on Sunday, named Labour’s Green Transformation, which emphasises the importance of the environment. In the foreword it says: “The environment is the bedrock of our economy, our security and our wellbeing. It is not something separate from ourselves; it is the food we eat and the place we live.”

The pamphlet details the three environmental actions that Labour plan to prioritise.

The first is ‘Preventing dangerous climate change and adapting to existing climate change’. This involves implementing measures to ensure the UK keeps its commitment to the Paris Agreement of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The second priority is ‘Achieving high air and water quality’. It has been reported that 40,000 deaths per year are related to air pollution. In England, the total NHS and social care cost due to PM, an urban background pollutant, in 2017 was estimated to be over £41 million.

The third priority is ‘Reversing the decline of biodiversity and protecting natural habitats’. According to the 2016 State of Nature report the UK is now “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world.”

Other measures noted in the pamphlet include introducing a new Clean Air act and setting guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes.

Rebecca Newsom, Head of Politics at Greenpeace UK, said: “This ambitious green manifesto demonstrates Labour's commitment to tackling our environmental challenges at the root and protecting the bedrock of a thriving economy and a healthy society.”

However, she notes that there is still finer details to be clarified. She added: “But there's also room for improvement in some areas. More clarity and detail are needed about Labour's plan for delivering 60% of UK's energy from safe, low-carbon sources.”

To read the full Labour pamphlet click here.