Legislation planned to change target in Climate Change Act 2008

Theresa May will legally commit the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in an effort to define her premiership beyond Brexit.

The Prime Minister’s pledge is unlikely to be paired with an action plan and would not mean an end to emissions completely. Net zero would mean UK carbon emissions, while reduced, would be offset by taking more carbon out of the air.

The pledge will be made through an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008, which was introduced by the last Labour government.

The Chancellor has raised concerns that other countries may not follow suit and the measures required to meet the pledge could cost £1 trillion. A review point is being considered, to allow future governments to reconsider the pledge in future.