UK Net Zero Emissions Target - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:08 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Worthington Baroness Worthington Crossbench 4:08 pm, 12th June 2019

My Lords, when we passed the original Climate Change Act in 2008, the UK was the first country to pass a legally binding target for reducing our climate-damaging emissions. I am glad that in setting that example we triggered action from other countries; Sweden and New Zealand have now also legislated. Now that we are taking this bolder step to remove all our domestic emissions, we will see others follow. In the past few weeks, both Chile and Japan have committed to moving to net zero targets. I commend the Government and everyone who has contributed to getting to this position. The UK is taking the morally correct path. We are showing leadership at a time when the world is completely distracted by the rise of nationalism and populism. We are saying that there are more important issues that unify us as citizens of this sole planet that we share. We must take every step to ensure that this is not just a paper target but is backed up by policy. We have decades of examples of how we have done this; we are not starting with a blank sheet of paper. We have shown that we can decarbonise fastest among all OECD countries without it affecting our growth or economic development. We are a shining of beacon of hope in fairly dark times. I sincerely hope we will take our message to the UN in September, to Washington and Beijing, and that we will see others stepping up and increasing their ambition. It is easier and cheaper to do this than it has ever been. The technologies are there, the political will is growing and the children are out on the streets demanding that we do more. I am delighted that the Government are showing such leadership. Now we need to take it to Parliaments all around the world.