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Carbon Emissions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st November 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Office for National Statistics publication of 21 October 2019, The decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions: UK evidence, what steps the Government plans to take to tackle the UK's status as the largest per capita net importer of carbon dioxide emissions in the G7.

Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

On 27 June, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. This made the UK the first major economy to set a net zero target in law, ending the UK’s contribution to global warming in three decades.

The Government seeks to support more sustainable patterns of consumption and production by moving towards a more circular economy. This will help reduce carbon emissions related to consumption of imported goods as well as those produced domestically. Our Resources & Waste Strategy (RWS), published in December 2018, sets out how we will do this. We will also publish an indicator framework for the RWS later this year, which will include an indicator on consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions for England.

On 15 October, the Government introduced the landmark Environment Bill to Parliament to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time. The Bill builds on this Government’s commitments to protect the environment set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan. Legislation to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and hosting the climate-focused COP26 in 2020 will keep the UK at the forefront of international work on these issues.

To ensure environmental protection the Environment Bill will establish a new Office for Environment Protection, which will have a statutory duty to monitor progress in improving the natural environment, including on climate change.

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