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Net zero and UN climate summits

Inquiry

The BEIS Committee has launched a standing inquiry on the UK’s ‘Net Zero’ target and the UN Climate Summits. The Committee expects this inquiry to run for the duration of this Parliament. It will consider issues including:

  • Progress in delivering the UK’s 2050 net zero target; 
  • Progress in cutting emissions to meet the UK’s five-yearly Carbon Budgets; 
  • The role of BEIS in leading climate change mitigation policy across Government; 
  • The potential role of business and industry in the net zero agenda; 
  • Preparations for the 2021 Climate Summit in Glasgow, and the UK’s performance as Summit host; 
  • The ongoing role of the UK in international climate talks and initiatives to tackle climate change. 

Background

On 27 June 2019 the UK’s ‘Net Zero’ target came into force, setting a new goal to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050. The Net Zero target replaces the UK’s previous goal to reduce UK emissions by 80% by 2050, established by the Climate Change Act 2008.

The net zero target aligns UK legislation with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, as agreed by the world’s nations at the 2015 UN Climate Summit (COP21). The Paris Agreement sets an aim to limit global temperature rise to "well below 2°C" above pre-industrial levels and to "pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C".

In September 2019 the UK was awarded the Presidency of the next UN Climate Summit (COP26), in partnership with Italy. The Summit will now take place in Glasgow in November 2021.