UK Commits To Net Zero Emissions By 2050: Here's How It Might Affect You

"This is a big moment for everyone in the climate movement"

Theresa May has announced the government will slash its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 – a move hailed as a “big moment for everyone in the climate movement” by Greenpeace.

The government’s previous target, set in 2008, was to reduce emissions by 80% – but significant changes in society will be necessary if we are to meet the new target, which Theresa May called “necessary and feasible.”

Young people will be involved in helping shape the changes, following a year of climate action led by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. A Youth Steering Group will be set up to shape future climate policy, the government said.

Greenpeace warned of potential “loopholes” in the plans, expressing concern over plans to allow for international carbon credits, which allow the UK to pay to offset its emissions elsewhere in the world, rather than making changes domestically.

But how could this new target affect you – and what changes could you make?

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In a recent report, the government’s expert advisory Committee on Climate Change made a series of recommendations for cutting carbon emissions. There was advice around agriculture, air travel and how we heat our homes.

These include: insulating our homes better, working out ways to make greener jet fuels, making it easier to switch to electric cars, eating less meat, and reducing food waste.

It’s not clear which the government will adopt, but widespread change on a policy level will be needed to make a difference. In the meantime, however, there are some changes you can make already make in the meantime.

We’ve rounded up 11 small everyday changes you can make to make right now, including helping local bees and wildlife to thrive, reducing your food waste, and using less water. Read our guide here.