Britain asks experts to advise on net zero emissions climate target

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has asked its climate change experts to advise on whether it should set a date to meet a net zero emissions target, the government said on Monday.

Britain has a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2050, but campaigners have warned this does not go far enough to meet pledges made under the Paris climate agreement.

The move comes a week after a United Nations report warned the world needs to make unprecedented changes in the way people use energy to curb global temperature rises and limit the worst effects of climate change such as more extreme weather and loss of species.

Britain’s Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has asked the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to examine whether the target should be reviewed and if the country should set a date to meet net zero emissions.

“The evidence is clear – governments, businesses and communities must take further action to confront one of the greatest global challenges we’ve ever faced,” Perry said in a statement on Monday.

Under the Paris agreement more than 190 nations agreed in 2015 to pursue efforts to limit a rise in global temperatures this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The CCC said it would consider how and by when Britain can eliminate carbon emissions from its economy and look at whether the country’s 2050 target is still fit for purpose.

The committee is planning to deliver its advice within six months.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; additional reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Ed Osmond