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Government urged to submit ‘more ambitious’ 2030 climate plan

A collection of 40 backbenchers and Lords have called for the UK Government to submit a new climate plan, in line with recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Explaining the UK’s departure from the European Union provides, in their eyes, an opportunity to establish a ‘much more ambitious’ climate target for 2030 and closer align with its longer-term statutory goal of reaching net zero carbon targets by 2050, the collective of Conservative backbenchers has urged swift action.

Writing to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the group urged the submission of a strengthened climate goal which follows forthcoming recommendations from the CCC, which is due to unveil in December its newest advice for meeting the UK’s emissions goals for the 2033-37 period.

Signatories include former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, former First Secretary of State Damian Green and former Under Secretary of State for BEIS, Lord Duncan.

In line with the Paris Agreement, the UK is expected to prepare and communicate a new, more ambitious 2030 climate goal by the close of the year – with the current pledges deemed not strong enough to support global efforts against climate change.

However, due to Covid-19 and the postponement of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the overwhelming majority of countries including the UK are still yet to submit these enhanced plans.

The European Union is currently understood to be in the process of finalising an enhanced 2030 climate goal for the countries within the continental bloc.

At present, the UK government has not updated its UN Paris Agreement climate pledges since adopting its 2050 net zero target last year.

In the co-signed letter, the group of MPs and Lords write: “Our new nationally determined contribution (NDC) will be one of the most crucial signposts to the international community that the UK takes our climate leadership role seriously and will be critical in securing more ambitious commitments from other countries.

“We hope [Mr Sharma] will be as ambitious as possible going into this vital summit in terms of our domestic commitments.

“We hope that the government will also undertake a major public communications campaign and a national series of events in the run-up to COP26.”

The postponed COP26 event is now expected to take place in Glasgow on November 2021, with Mr Sharma due to act as President for the international conference.

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