The UK should aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030, the country’s independent climate advisers have said.
In a letter to the business secretary, Lord Deben, chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), encouraged the government to make a climate “commitment that is as bold as possible, to inspire other world leaders to follow suit”.
A pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030 would be “world leading” compared to other major economies’ current climate pledges, the CCC says.
All countries have been encouraged to submit tougher international climate pledges this year as part of the commitments they made under the Paris Agreement.
The CCC had been asked to offer the UK government advice on the update it should make to its international climate pledge, which is known as a “nationally determined contribution”, ahead of 9 December.
The letter from the CCC comes after the Times reported that the prime minister is due to announce a pledge to cut emissions by 69 per cent by 2030, when compared to 1990 levels.
The UK’s current pledge is to cut emissions by 57 per cent by 2030, when compared to 1990 levels.
Adopting the recommended target would see the UK align itself with a path to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the most ambitious target of the Paris Agreement.
The letter reads: “It would align with the published pathways from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for a 1.5C goal. UK emissions would fall by 54 per cent from 2010 to 2030, compared to the 45 per cent that the IPCC identifies for the world as a whole.”
The IPCC is an independent research group made up of the world’s leading climate scientists.
The recommended short-term emissions cut excludes aviation and shipping. But the CCC added that emissions from these sectors “must be addressed if the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement is to be met”.
Announcing the publishing of the letter on Twitter, Chris Stark, the chief executive of the CCC, said: “This would be a serious 2030 UK commitment. Among the most ambitious of any country.
“New net-zero targets from China, South Korea, Japan – and (soon) the US are fantastic. But they are mid-century goals. We need short-term ambition too. Cumulative emissions are what matter.”
He added: “So, over to you, Boris Johnson.”
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