Britain to become first G7 country with net zero emissions target

Volunteers take part in the Zero Plastiko Urdaibai ocean and coastal cleanup on Laida beach near Bermeo, Spain June 8, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 June 2019

Britain to become first G7 country with net zero emissions target

  • Households would also need to be weaned off natural gas heating and switch to low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen or heat pumps

LONDON: Britain will toughen its climate targets and commit to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the government said late on Tuesday, becoming the first G7 nation to set such a goal.
The country currently aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. However, campaigners say this does not go far enough to meet pledges made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to try to limit a rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.
“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.”
Legislation will be put before parliament on June 12 to amend the existing climate change act to incorporate the new target, the statement said.
Britain’s independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, last month said that the country should move to the new target, which would require more renewable electricity generation and could require the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars by at least 2035.
Households would also need to be weaned off natural gas heating and switch to low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen or heat pumps.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), welcomed the move.
“Some sectors will need clear pathways to enable investment in low-carbon technologies, and it is vital that there is cross-government coordination on the policies and regulation needed to deliver a clean future,” she said.
Britain hopes its decision will encourage other countries to adopt more ambitious climate targets and said that a further assessment will take place within five years to confirm whether other countries are taking similar action.
It also said it would retain its ability to use international carbon credits to help to meet the target.
“Using international credits within an appropriate monitoring, reporting and verification framework is the right thing to do for the planet, allowing the UK to maximize the value of each pound spent on climate change mitigation,” the government statement said.


British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

UK Border control is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June 4, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 55 min 2 sec ago

British airports to introduce 3D screening for carry-on bags

  • The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said

LONDON: Putting small containers of liquids in plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past for airline passengers in Britain after the government announced plans Sunday to introduce 3D screening equipment for carry-on luggage at all major airports.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that the new technology will improve security and could also mean “an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.”
Under current security restrictions, passengers are not allowed containers carrying more than 100 milliliters (3.38 fluid ounces) of liquids in their carry-on luggage and the containers have to be in a clear plastic bag.
That could come to an end under the new screening regime and passengers may also be able to keep electrical equipment such as their laptops in their cabin bags.
The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said.
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye says the technology “will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.”