Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new target to reduce the UK’s emissions by at least 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
The new target is an NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Under the agreement signed in 2015, countries are obliged to update their commitments to cut emissions and deliver an NDC by the end of 2020. The UK is the first major economy to have announced its new NDC and the announcement comes ahead of the UK co-hosting the Climate Ambition Summit next Saturday, five years on from the Paris Agreement.
It is hoped that the new NDC will encourage other countries to set similar targets. NDCs are a key part of the Paris Agreement to hold global temperature increases well below 2 degrees.
Currently, the UK is targeting achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The UK’s previous NDC target was to lower emissions by 53%. The new target of 68% has been set following discussions between government departments and reflects the advice to the government from the independent Climate Change Committee.
Last month, the UK Government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2040, while the Prime Minister also set out a 10-point-plan for tackling climate change.
Announcing the new target for cutting emissions, Boris Johnson said;
“Today, we are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions by 2030, faster than any major economy, with our Ten Point Plan helping us on our path to reach it.
“But this is a global effort, which is why the UK is urging world leaders as part of next week’s Climate Ambition Summit to bring forward their own ambitious plans to cut emissions and set net zero targets.”
Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma said that the UK’s new emissions target is “among the highest in the world and reflects the urgency and scale of the challenge our planet faces”.