The UK government has launched the toughest climate target ever put forward by a major economy. It beats the corresponding EU goals just as a nation leaves the Union.
After the Brexit vote, European climate circles feared that the British were neglecting climate policy, despite promises to the contrary. Five before he hands off Boris Johnson The government is still a climate target that makes the European Union appear toothless.
The UK must reduce its climate emissions by at least 68% by 2030. In this way, it is on a path that leads to the previously stated goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
The British government states that the target is one of the toughest in the world and commits the nation to reduce its emissions faster than any other major economy. It should also be noted that the decision is something that was taken after the decision to leave the European Union.
“The goal shows British leadership in combating climate change,” the government said in a statement.
The government also notes that the UK has reduced its emissions more than any other equally developed country, and that it was the first to announce a climate neutrality target by 2050. The European Union has the same long-term goal, but nothing more than a modernization of the 2030 target.
Before the summit
The British announcement comes shortly before Boris Johnson, with the UN Secretary-General, arranging a climate summit on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on December 12. Only countries that have hardened their climate promises can participate. The European Union was trying to agree on its 2030 target the day before the summit.
The European Union is expected to reach agreement on the Commission’s proposal to tighten the 2030 target to “at least 55%”. Parliament supported the 60% target. The Council, that is, the governments of the member states, is not expected to accept it. On the contrary, some countries consider the UNHCR target to be very difficult indeed.
The British goal does not include forests and lands absorbing carbon dioxide. The Commission does so, which is why the difference between the level of British and European ambition is actually greater than 13 percentage points, notes the university organization CAN of the European Climate Movement.
According to CAN, the agency’s “at least 55%” corresponds to 50-53% in actual emissions reductions.
The climate movement and a number of think tanks both praise the British goal, but point out that a strong roadmap is needed to be credible.