Britain pledges ambitious 68 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030

4th December 2020 | Commercial Energy

The UK has introduced a new target to cut carbon emissions by 68 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030, but green campaigners have warned that the move doesn’t go far enough. The new target is a stepping stone towards legally binding commitments made by the government last year to cut the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the “ambitious” target will see the UK cutting emissions at the fastest rate of any major economy so far.

Carbon emissions

The plan comes just under a year before the COP26 climate talks are due to take place in Glasgow and ahead of the UK’s Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December, which Britain is jointly hosting. But green campaigners have expressed disappointment at the target: “This is important progress but not sufficient,” said Ed Matthew from the Climate Coalition. “A more ambitious cut is both feasible and necessary to keep us safe and reflect our massive historic carbon emissions,” he added. “We must remember too that the climate will not respond to targets, it will respond to carbon cuts. It is action that counts.”

Sasha Stashwick, senior advocate at the Natural Resources Defence Council, believes the UK’s reliance on biomass for electricity undermines the government’s plans. “The UK is making a bold commitment to address our climate crisis, but these pledges rest on dodgy accounting. Every year, the UK throws billions of pounds of bill payers’ money to prop up the burning of wood for electricity, and it erroneously counts this dirty power source as carbon-neutral energy towards its climate targets. But, it’s not. In fact, over the coming decades – when science tells us we need dramatic reductions in emissions – it will mean millions more tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

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