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UK sets world's toughest climate target for 2035

UK sets world's toughest clima...
The UK has set a stunning new emissions reduction target for 2035, pledging to cut emissions by 78 percent on the way to net zero by 2050
The UK has set a stunning new emissions reduction target for 2035, pledging to cut emissions by 78 percent on the way to net zero by 2050
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The UK has set a stunning new emissions reduction target for 2035, pledging to cut emissions by 78 percent on the way to net zero by 2050
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The UK has set a stunning new emissions reduction target for 2035, pledging to cut emissions by 78 percent on the way to net zero by 2050
The sixth budget is particularly aggressive, and fully incorporates the UK's share of aviation and shipping emissions
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The sixth budget is particularly aggressive, and fully incorporates the UK's share of aviation and shipping emissions

The UK government has announced a legally binding commitment to hit a 78 percent emissions reduction target by 2035, as compared to 1990 levels, on the way to net zero emissions by 2050. For the first time, this target includes aviation and shipping.

This is the sixth Carbon Budget for the UK, which has already beaten its first two Carbon Budgets and is on track to beat its third as well for 2022. The UK's carbon emissions peaked at around 900 megatonnes per year in 1991, and the 2022 figure is on pace to be below 500 Mt, representing around a 45 percent emissions reduction achievement over the last 22 years.

The pace will need to quicken over the next 15 years, and the sixth budget is particularly ambitious, aiming to halve annual emissions rates between 2030 and 2035. And where previous budgets have kept international aviation and shipping aside, as the UN doesn't attribute them to a particular country, the new targets will see the UK taking responsibility for its share, bringing them out of a separate "headroom" category and into the budget itself.

The sixth budget is particularly aggressive, and fully incorporates the UK's share of aviation and shipping emissions
The sixth budget is particularly aggressive, and fully incorporates the UK's share of aviation and shipping emissions

The target adopts the recommendation of the independent Climate Change Committee, which proposes a range of measures and policy changes to nail the 78 percent target. These include:

  • All new cars, vans and boilers to be low-carbon and largely electric by the early 2030s
  • All new trucks to be low-carbon by 2040
  • Widespread shifting of industrial energy use to renewable electricity, with carbon capture and sequestration where this is impractical
  • A zero-carbon electricity grid by 2035, with offshore wind as the backbone of supply and greatly increased generation capacity to cope with an energy transition toward electricity
  • Low-carbon hydrogen to scale up as a shipping and transport fuel, as well as for industrial use and potentially a replacement for natural gas in heating some buildings
  • Improved insulation to cut building energy losses
  • Dietary changes reducing high-carbon meat and dairy consumption by 20% by 2030
  • Reduction in car miles travelled and a slowing down of growth in demand for flights
  • 460,000 hectares of new mixed woodland to be planted by 2035, helping raise woodland coverage from 13% of UK land today to 15% by 2035
  • 260,000 hectares of farmland to be shifted to production of energy crops
  • Peatlands to be restored and sustainably managed

The new target will go before parliament soon, and will be enshrined into law by the end of June.

"The UK’s sixth Carbon Budget is the product of the most comprehensive examination ever undertaken of the path to a fully decarbonised economy," said Climate Change Committee chairman Lord Deben. "I am delighted that the government has accepted my Committee’s recommendations in full."

"The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change," said Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, "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 ... as we build back greener from the pandemic, we lead the world towards a cleaner, more prosperous future for this generation and those to come."

This news comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to address the opening session of the US Leaders' Summit on Climate, hosted by President Biden on Earth Day, April 22.

Source: UK Government

5 comments
5 comments
FB36
"Low-carbon hydrogen to scale up as a shipping and transport fuel, as well as for industrial use and potentially a replacement for natural gas in heating some buildings"

Hydrogen is explosive & so it should/must never be used for any land/sea/air vehicles or for energy storage/transport! Do we really want a future w/ frequent massive explosions everywhere all the time?

There is no need to use hydrogen for anything!
All light vehicles can be made fully electric & all heavy land/sea/air vehicles just need us to start producing biodiesel/biofuel at large scales (from all possible waste/biomass/sewage)!
Bill S.
The UK can’t even provide a decent dental program let alone a widespread and insane program as suggested in the article. What exactly will be the energy source to produce electricity to power hundreds of thousands of EV’s? It has to be from either coal, natural gas or nuclear power. All opposed by the “green” tree hugging anti-capitalism eco-nut jobs. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Bye bye England
52minus1
All this means is that the nations of the British Isles are going to made more dependant on other economies producing emissions to manufacture/produce what we consume. I seriously doubt there'll be any significant reduction in pollution especially considering how 'economic growth' is also a goal.

Statisticians love the concept of 'externality'.
ljaques
And the good news is that it will only cost 637% of your wages every year!
Baker Steve
Johnson will promise anything if it makes him look good. As well as the points mentioned below, when I last looked electrical heat was five times the cost of mains gas heat, and is going up all the time. In addition, electric space heating in the form of the much-touted air-source heat pumps is advised against for any housing with an energy rating below 'C', which is most of it. How is the UK's existing housing stock to fare in this green brave new world, aside from us all turning the heating off and wearing electric throws? (My investment suggestion.) The latest UK Govt green grants scheme was implemented through an overseas company, turned into a complete fiasco and has now been scrapped. Not a great start. Plus, as well as the generation capacity to create all the required electricity, we do not have the transmission capacity to shift it. Don't misread me – I'm all for a green new future (I've been a member of the Centre for Alternative Technology for over two decades), I just don't trust politicians. And finally, we make far, far too little use of passive solar in domestic housing design. As I've written here and elsewhere before, rebuilding the integral solar space in my house to modern standards has massively reduced my heating costs.