In 2008 the UK committed, as part of a climate agreement, to cutting climate emissions by 90% compared to 1990 emissions by 2050.
Partly due to the decline in coal powered power stations, UK emissions averaged a defile of 6% the last 3 years and our emissions are now at 1890 levels – pretty impressive.
As such we are around half of the way to our 2050 target (42% reduction). Andrea Leadson talked of enshrining an aim of net zero emissions in law but was blocked by David Cameron (how does his husky trip look in that light), but this is what is required by all developed economies if we are to hit the 1.5 degrees C rise target.
Whether we agree to go for net zero emissions is touch and go, however what is notable is New Zealand and Sweden have already made this commitment, so other governments are recognising what needs to be done.
No G7 country has made a net zero emissions aim, the UK should step up and go for it. It will require imagination, and more care from Westminster (markets like solar panels will be needed, and must not be squashed) however the expertise we will require and the markets that will be created will be well suited for global success if we embrace low carbon now – giving us a headstart on the rest of the developed world.