UK passes net zero into legislation and one-sixth of global economy now covered

The UK government has now confirmed its target to be net zero in carbon emissions by 2050, making it the first major, G7, economy to do so.

Chris Skidmore, the acting energy and clean growth minister, who signed the official documentation, noted: “The legislation to amend the Climate Change Act [will] ensure we are the first G7 country committed to #NetZero by 2050 has this week passed in both the Commons and Lords.”

The news comes as the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has estimated that 16 per cent of global GDP is now covered by net zero emissions targets.

Fifteen nations have declared the intention of reaching net zero emissions in or before 2050, three countries (Norway, Sweden and now the UK) have set the target in national legislation, and two (Bhutan and Suriname) now absorb more greenhouse gases than they emit. There is also a growing movement in regions, states and cities.

“Having a net zero target with a date before mid-century is probably the best single indicator of whether a nation is serious about delivering what it promised at the Paris summit, so it’s notable that such a large slice of the global economy is already being conducted under net zero targets,” said Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

The new ECIU analysis also shows that at least 34 companies with annual income above $1bn have set net zero emissions targets – and some of these have already met them.

Full report here.

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