The UK will produce net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under a commitment to be announced by Theresa May.

It is understood that the outgoing prime minister will announce a legally binding agreement to end the UK’s contribution to climate change in just over 30 years time.

This would mean any emissions produced by the UK after 2050 would be offset by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

In May, the committee on climate change urged ministers to pledge to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050 and stop its contribution to global warming.

The government advisers said a new legal target for eliminating almost all greenhouse gas emissions was needed – and action should be taken to offset the unavoidable pollution by planting trees or using other technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


The “net zero” target would mean wholesale changes to home heating, transport, and even people’s diets.

Chris Stark, the committee’s chief executive, told Sky News earlier this year that the transition was essential to prevent catastrophic warming of the planet.

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“What we’ve recommended today doesn’t involve any unicorn technologies,” he said.

“We’ve got a set of technology in this recommendation that we understand and know we can employ.

“It doesn’t involve big shifts in consumer behaviour, but does involve a big transition for the whole economy, and that’s not just about employing new tech, but also about how we live our lives.

“We’ll have cleaner air, we’ll lead healthier lives, but there is a shift required to achieve that.”

The report from the committee set out a template for action.

It says the government should ban petrol and diesel cars as soon as 2030, 10 years earlier than the current plan.

And it recommends 25 million gas boilers are replaced with low carbon alternatives.