West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the UK to commit to ending Britain’s contribution to the problem of climate change before 2050.  

The letter[1] states that “setting ourselves the goal of net zero emissions will put us at the forefront of the race for investment in clean industries, creating jobs all around the UK and inspiring the next generation”.  

‘Net zero’ means greenhouse gas emissions will be cut to as close to zero as possible, and any remaining emissions will be soaked up from the atmosphere by, for example, planting more trees which absorb carbon dioxide gas from the air as they grow.  

A recent poll by Opinium shows that a clear majority (64%) of UK adults believe the UK should aim to cut its emissions to zero over the next few decades[2].  

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I have been clear in my view that as a country we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and invest and explore alternative, greener, renewable energies to sustain our future.   

“Fracking is not the answer to moving away from coal, oil and gas, but instead renewable energies including solar panels, wind farms and hydropower should be looked at for our longer-term energy security and ensuring such alternatives are installed and constructed with the backing of the local population.”  

Neil Thorns, Chair of The Climate Coalition said:
“We applaud MPs calling for the UK to take this leadership position on climate change. Millions of people across the country have joined The Climate Coalition to show the love for the people, places and things that they want to protect from climate change, and we are delighted to see politicians across political parties coming together to deliver on that message. This is our opportunity to create a cleaner, more secure Britain for all of us.”  

The UK leads the world’s developed countries in growing its economy the most while also cutting carbon emissions (which cause climate change) faster than any other G7 nation[2], creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK. Other countries have already set net zero emissions targets with dates between 2030 and 2050, including France, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and New Zealand. Last year China, the world’s largest investor in clean energy, invested $132.6bn in technologies such as solar power[3].  

So far 180 MPs from across the political parties have signed the letter to the PM. This comes as the UK celebrates the 10th anniversary of the British Climate Change Act, which received cross-party support and has been hugely successful in driving cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and growth in new clean energy industries. Investment in the sectors that will allow us to transition smoothly to an economy powered by clean energy have brought jobs and opportunity to towns and cities across the UK, and continue to do so.  

Under the Paris Agreement on climate change which Britain signed in 2015 alongside 194 other countries, the UK is committed to keeping a global rise in temperature to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. In order to stop temperatures rising further we have to stop adding more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.  

[1] The letter was initiated by Simon Clarke, Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, and the list of MPs who have signed it can be found here: https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/joint-letter  

[2] Opinium polling commissioned by Bright Blue: https://brightblue.org.uk/climate-change-chogm/  

[3] https://about.bnef.com/blog/runaway-53gw-solar-boom-in-china-pushed-global-clean-energy-investment-ahead-in-2017/ 

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