The United Kingdom has just become the first major economy in the world to commit to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Although the UK already had a 2050 target to reduce emissions by 80%, which was agreed upon by MPs under the Climate Change Act in 2008, that target is now amended to the new, much tougher, goal.

So, what does “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions entail? It means that emissions from homes, transport, farming, and industry will have to be avoided completely or – in the most difficult examples – offset by planting trees or sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere. The outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK led the world to wealth through fossil fuels in the industrial revolution, so it was appropriate for Britain to lead in the opposite direction.