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  • by Karma Loveday

Water targets net zero-carbon emissions 20 years before wider economy

Pressure mounted on the government last week to put more ambitious climate change targets in place, after Parliament declared a climate emergency and the Climate Change Committee recommended the UK should set a net zero emissions target covering all sectors of the economy for 2050 – up from the current target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 against a 1990 baseline.

The water sector just a week before had set itself a more ambitious target – for the whole sector to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – as part of the Public Interest Commitment coordinated by Water UK.

Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson was among the voices calling for action. He spoke out in support of the Committee on Climate Change's advice to the government for more ambitious climate targets.

He said: "We have seen first hand how ambitious carbon targets can disrupt established practice, drive innovation, and significantly reduce costs and environmental impacts. Anglian has already made huge strides towards becoming a carbon neutral business by 2050. In 2010 we set industry leading carbon targets for 2020. By 2015 we had already beaten those targets. Our customers have told us to be more ambitious in tackling climate change and we've stepped up to that challenge. This is a core part of our social contract with the communities we serve, and the environment we protect.”

WWF said the government must follow parliament in declaring a climate emergency and urgently make climate change a priority across all parts of government.

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