It was announced this week (Tuesday 20 April) that the UK government will set an ambitious climate change target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 (compared to 1990 levels).
In line with the recommendation from the independent Climate Change Committee, the sixth Carbon Budget aims to limit the volume of greenhouse gases emitted over a 5-year period from 2033 to 2037.
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 2°C and pursue efforts towards 1.5°C.
For the first time, this Carbon Budget will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions – an important part of the government’s decarbonisation efforts that will allow for these emissions to be accounted for consistently.
The new target will become enshrined in law by the end of June 2021.
Prime Minister Boris 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.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change and today’s announcement means our low carbon future is now in sight. The targets we’ve set ourselves in the sixth Carbon Budget will see us go further and faster than any other major economy to achieve a completely carbon neutral future.
This latest target shows the world that the UK is serious about protecting the health of our planet, while also seizing the new economic opportunities it will bring and capitalising on green technologies – yet another step as we build back greener from the pandemic and we lead the world towards a cleaner, more prosperous future for this generation and those to come.