A UK reduction in territorial emissions of at least 68% as part of its nationally determined contribution (NDC) has been recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
NDCs – which form part of the Paris Agreement – detail the efforts of each country to reduce national emissions, with the CCC stating that a 68% reduction from 1990 to 2030 would be “world leading”.
This would also be progression from the UK’s current commitments, with the existing fifth carbon budget targeting -57%, its expected reduction in actual emissions under the fifth carbon budget being -61% and its expected effort share of the EU’s NDC being -53%.
This was outlined in a letter addressed to energy secretary Alok Sharma following a request for the CCC’s NDC recommendation ahead of the publication of the sixth carbon budget on the 9 December, having been delayed to allow the CCC to factor in the impact of COVID-19.
The government has faced criticism for its approach to the carbon budgets, having fallen short in its measures to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets – outlined in the 2017 Clean Growth Strategy – by 6% and 9.7% respectively. It has also been warned off carrying over surplus emissions reductions from the second carbon budget to help meet future targets.
In its letter, the CCC said it is encouraging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make a 2030 NDC commitment that is as “bold as possible” so as to inspire other world leaders, suggesting that the government goes further than a 68% reduction.
However, regardless of the target, the NDC should be backed up by wider climate commitments, the CCC continued, which includes the development of a policy package and net zero strategy, clear commitments to reduce international aviation and shipping emissions and greater support for climate finance.
The CCC is set to release its formal advice on the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget on 9 December 2020.