21 Apr UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035

The UK’s sixth Carbon Budget will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions for the first time, to bring the UK more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.

The UK government will set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, it was announced on Tuesday 20 April.

In line with the recommendation from the independent Climate Change Committee, this sixth Carbon Budget limits the volume of greenhouse gases emitted over a 5-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 Britain 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, this 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.

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. Today’s world-leading announcement builds on this goal to achieve a 78% reduction by 2035.

The new target will become enshrined in law by the end of June 2021, with legislation setting out the UK government’s commitments laid in Parliament on Wednesday 21 April.

The UK over-achieved against its first and second Carbon Budgets and is on track to outperform the third Carbon Budget which ends in 2022. This is due to significant cuts in greenhouse gases across the economy and industry, with the UK bringing emissions down 44% overall between 1990 and 2019, and two-thirds in the power sector.

Moreover, the UK continues to break records in renewable electricity generation, which has more than quadrupled since 2010 while low carbon electricity overall now gives us over 50% of our total generation.

The government has already laid the groundwork to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, starting with ambitious strategies that support polluting industries to decarbonise while growing the economy and creating new, long-term green jobs.

This includes the publication of the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, an ambitious blueprint for the world’s first low carbon industrial sector, slashing emissions by two-thirds in just 15 years, as well as over £1 billion government funding to cut emissions from industry, schools and hospitals.

Further, the UK is the first G7 country to agree a landmark North Sea Transition Deal to support the oil and gas industry’s transition to clean, green energy while supporting 40,000 jobs. Through the deal, the sector has committed to cut emissions by 50% by 2030, while the government, sector and trade unions will work together over the next decade and beyond to deliver the skills, innovation and new infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production.

The full details can be found by using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-enshrines-new-target-in-law-to-slash-emissions-by-78-by-2035

Angela Mason
Angela Mason
angelamason@cmfed.co.uk