UK must cut emissions 14% higher than EU average by 2030

Burden sharing deal means major economies have to shoulder more of the bloc’s pledge to ditch fossil fuels and invest in cleaner forms of energy

(Pic: European Council/Flickr)

(Pic: European Council/Flickr)

By Ed King

The UK will have to target greenhouse gas cuts 14% higher than the European Union’s 2030 goal of 40%, according to the government’s independent climate advisor.

“For the current EU agreed pledge our best estimate is that this means a UK reduction of 54% below 1990 levels in 2030, within the range 51-57%,” said the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on Tuesday.

Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden will also likely face higher cuts due to their sizeable GDP levels, compensating for poorer eastern European nations.

The 2030 target was agreed by member states in October 2014, part of a wide ranging package aimed at cutting the bloc’s carbon footprint and boosting energy security.

So far nearly 150 countries have delivered similar climate plans to the UN ahead of a proposed global climate deal, set to be signed off in Paris this December.

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But in a statement the committee’s chair Lord Deben insisted the UK was not moving faster than others in its efforts to limit global warming below dangerous levels.

“The UK’s commitment to reduce its emissions to-date has been in line with current commitments by all countries to limit global warming to the internationally agreed limit of 2C,” he said.

The UK has already budgeted for 50% GHG cuts up to 2025. Next month the CCC will reveal what levels of emission reductions it believes the government should target from 2028-2032.

“Our best estimate of the UK’s reduction under the EU’s 2030 agreement is that this therefore could imply a 2% reduction in average emissions from the fourth to fifth carbon budget,” said the report.

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