Theresa May has signed up the UK to the coalition of nations working to support the Paris Agreement’s goal to eradicate net carbon emissions by 2050.

The prime minister announced in her address to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York last week that the UK will join the Carbon Neutrality Coalition.

The 19 state-strong coalition, which is led by New Zealand and the Marshall Islands, has been set up to promote “long-term planning and ambitious action” in support of the Paris Agreement’s collective goals of net-zero global emissions.

The net zero target involves reducing emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any left-over carbon soaked out of the atmosphere by, for example, planting trees.

The world-wide agreement states that emissions must be cut to net zero by the middle of this century to prevent runaway temperature rises.

May also told fellow world heads of state that the UK would lead international efforts on climate resilience for the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in 2019.

And the UK will help gather evidence on the actions needed to adapt to climate change ahead of the 2019 summit by co-convening the Global Commission on Adaptation.

She also outlined over £160 million of funding to help countries transition to cleaner, greener energy systems and support communities affected by climate change.

Clean growth minister Claire Perry asked the Committee on Climate Change for advice earlier this year on how the government can meet the net zero target, which the Labour Party has committed to meet if it forms a government.

What to read next