LONDON (AP) -- Britain's outgoing prime minister on Wednesday announced plans to eliminate the country's net contribution to climate change by 2050.
Theresa May said the plan will be put before Parliament later in the day. The amendment to the 2008 Climate Change Act will intensify Britain's push to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
"Standing by is not an option," she said in a statement. "Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations." She added that Britain was already taking a leading role in fighting climate change.
The government's Committee on Climate Change says the change will help public health by reducing air and noise pollution and also help biodiversity. It had urged an urgent upgrade of the government's approach.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the business community backs the government's commitment.
"This legislation is the right response to the global climate crisis, and firms are ready to play their part in combating it," she said.
May is leaving office shortly after her party chooses a replacement leader. She stepped down because of her inability to win parliamentary support for her Brexit deal.