Biden’s summit: UK sets target to slash emissions by 78%

New Delhi/New York: Ahead of Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the opening session of the US Leaders’ Summit on Climate, hosted by US President Joe Biden on Earth Day, the UK government announced to set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

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

In line with the recommendation from the independent Climate Change Committee, this sixth Carbon Budget limits the volume of greenhouse gases emitted over a five-year period from 2033 to 2037.

According to the UK government, 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 2oC and pursue efforts towards 1.5oC.

Enshrining the new target in law to slash emissions was announced on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Johnson said: “We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that’s why we’re setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world.

“The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs.

“We want to see world leaders follow our lead and match our ambition in the run up to the crucial climate summit COP26, as we will only build back greener and protect our planet if we come together to take action.”

The government is already working towards its commitment to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68 per cent 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 per cent reduction by 2035.

The new target will become enshrined in law by the end of June 2021.

Prior to enshrining its net zero commitment in law, the UK had a target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 — through Tuesday’s sixth Carbon Budget announcement, the government is aiming to achieve almost the same level 15 years earlier.

Image courtesy of (File photo)

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