UK Unveils Plan To Become First G7 Country To Go Net Zero By 2050: ’Now Is The Time’

The United Kingdom could become the first major economy in the world to legally require itself to emit net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a new plan unveiled Tuesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her government would introduce legislation to amend the country’s 2008 climate change act and include the new midcentury target. The change will go before Parliament on Wednesday and, if enacted, would make the U.K. the first G7 country to take such a step.

“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth,” May said in a statement. “Standing by is not an option. Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations.”

Nearly 200 countries signed the landmark Paris climate agreement more than three years ago, vowing to do their part to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Scientists agree that doing so would avoid the worst effects of climate change, but the deal has been criticized as not going far enough to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

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