UK set 37% emissions reduction target

21st July 2016

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  • UK government



The UK is included in binding proposals to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) up to 2030, despite the country's vote to leave the EU.

Under the proposals announced yesterday by the European Commission, member states will collectively have to reduce GHG emissions from sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS) by 30% by 2030.

The plans also extend to 2030 the current effort sharing decision (ESD), which currently sets binding annual emission targets for member states between 2013 and 2020. The UK’s contribution to 2030 GHG reductions has been set at 37%. Its 2020 EDS target is to reduce emissions by 16% from 2005 levels.

Announcing the new targets, EU commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: ‘The national binding targets we are proposing are fair, flexible and realistic. They set the right incentives to unleash investments in sectors like transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management. With these proposals, we are showing that we have done our homework and that we keep our promises.’

However, climate thinktank Sandbag said the proposals would not deliver Europe’s contribution to the Paris Agreement. ‘The 30% target implies a meagre 4% cut in emissions beyond business-as-usual [BAU] between 2021 and 2030,' said Debbie Stockwell, managing director of Sandbag.

'But the reality is even worse than that. We calculate the commission has thrown in so many loopholes through new flexibilities, that the new policy wouldn’t require any emission cuts beyond BAU at all.’

Sectors outside the ETS include transport, buildings, waste, agriculture, forestry and land use, and they account for almost 60% of total EU emissions.


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