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    UK targets 78% cut in GHG emissions by 2035


Prime minister Boris Johnson has urged other world leaders to follow suit by raising their climate ambitions.

by: Joseph Murphy

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UK targets 78% cut in GHG emissions by 2035

The UK will enshrine in law a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 versus the level in 1990, the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced on April 20.

For the first time, the UK will also incorporate international aviation and shipping emissions into its reduction plan. The government wants to set the target as law by the end of June and is to present it to parliament April 21.

"We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that's why we're setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world," UK prime minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. "The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs."

The announcement comes ahead of the Leaders' Summit on Climate that will be hosted by the US on April 22. In his address to the summit, Johnson will urge other countries to raise their ambitions for emission cuts, BEIS said. The UK will also host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. 

The UK's Climate Change Committee concluded in its Sixth Carbon Budget 2033-2037 in December last year that the country's emissions would need to fall by nearly 80% by 2035, to order to match global requirements needed to limit global warming to 1.5 oC.  The government aims to scale back emissions by at least 68% by 2030.

Emissions trading schemes are seen as key to meeting decarbonisation targets. But after departing the EU, the UK is no longer subject to the EU's emissions trading system and must devise its own or rejoin it, if they are still compatible.