UK PM Theresa May announced that “the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050. The statutory instrument to implement this will be laid in Parliament today, Wednesday 12 June. This will amend the Climate Change Act 2008.”

We welcome the announcement today. Even though it’s a long-term target – it’s a very important step in the progress towards clear, focused legislation to reduce UK emissions to responsible levels.

For most large corporates, at its most basic, this is a three-step process with a hierarchy of actions. Where we can reduce internally, we should do so. Where we can’t, offsets will allow us to go further whilst technology is developed. The message is clear, businesses will need to eliminate what they can to start with, then they must reduce what they can’t eliminate and finally they will need to offset the remainder through financing an equivalent amount of emissions reductions outside of the business.

Offsets will come from both international and UK projects which reduce emissions at scale but also deliver unequalled outcomes in terms of adaptation, economic development, biodiversity, gender, education, food security; all key climate change related issues. ClimateCare offers a number of projects which illustrate how effective this mechanism can be, such as the BURN cookstoves in Kenya and the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone.

In the UK specifically, we have a unique opportunity to hit many objectives at once around biodiversity, flood management and using soil carbon, peatland restoration, afforestation (tree planting) and rewilding to rehabilitate marginal farmland. At ClimateCare, we are responding to this urgency, and to the importance of the land-based ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ such as peatland restoration and afforestation, by calling for a UK carbon market in partnership with Rewilding Britain. By putting a price of carbon, this market-based approach would both drive emissions reductions, and provide a new stream of funding to deliver ecosystem restoration, cutting carbon and protecting our natural systems.

This will help us address not only the climate emergency, but also the declared environmental emergency. The direction of travel is clear, let’s not wait for further individual policies to come into force. Let’s all act now.

To take full responsibility for your climate impact now, contact the team at ClimateCare.