The government has confirmed that it will introduce legislation (today) for a new climate target: 78% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, compared to 1990 levels. And - for the first time - this will include the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions. The new target will sit alongside the existing target of 68% reduction by 2030 – which is what appears in the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.
The government has also said that it will publish its Heating and Building Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan later this Spring, and the cross-government Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26. This is in addition to the Ten Point Plan and Energy White Paper published last year.
The UK was starting to lose international credibility on the climate front in the lead up to COP26 (what with the Cumbria mine debacle and the recent accusations that the government’s climate policy is like “dad dancing”) so it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to announce this new target just one day before President Biden’s Climate Leaders’ Summit. So now the UK is back to being able to claim “world leading” status.
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.