Pollution

Government enshrines new target in law to slash emissions 78% by 2035

The UK Government has announced that it will set the world’s 'most ambitious' climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

In line with the recommendation from the independent Climate Change Committee, the sixth Carbon Budget limits the volume of greenhouse gases emitted over a five year period from 2033 to 2037, taking the UK more than three-quarters of the way to reaching net zero by 2050.

The Carbon Budget will ensure the UK remains on track to end its contribution to climate change, while remaining consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goal to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts towards 1.5°C.

For the first time, the Carbon Budget will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions, an important part of the government’s decarbonisation efforts that will allow for these emissions to be accounted for consistently.

These plans come ahead of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, addressing the opening session of the US Leaders’ Summit on Climate to be held on Earth Day (22 April).

Mr Johnson will urge countries to raise ambition on tackling climate change and join the UK in setting stretching targets for reducing emissions by 2030 to align with net zero.

The government is already working towards its commitment to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels, through the UK’s latest Nationally Determined Contribution, the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date.

The new target will become enshrined in law by the end of June 2021, with legislation setting out the UK Government’s commitments to be laid out in Parliament.

Commenting, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change and that’s why we’re setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world.

“The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs.

“We want to see world leaders follow our lead and match our ambition in the run up to the crucial climate summit COP26, as we will only build back greener and protect our planet if we come together to take action.

Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng added: “The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change and today’s announcement means our low carbon future is now in sight.

"The targets we’ve set ourselves in the sixth Carbon Budget will see us go further and faster than any other major economy to achieve a completely carbon neutral future.

“This latest target shows the world that the UK is serious about protecting the health of our planet, while also seizing the new economic opportunities it will bring and capitalising on green technologies. Yet another step as we build back greener from the pandemic.

"We lead the world towards a cleaner, more prosperous future for this generation and those to come.”

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