Currently (March 2019), the UK’s Paris pledge was still the combined EU Intended Nationally Determined Contribution submitted by Latvia in April 2015. It refers to the 2˚C target, now understood to be too dangerous.
This EU INDC pledges a “binding target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 to be fulfilled jointly”. Although some EU Countries have submitted their own NDCs now, the UK has not, even though it is on the brink of leaving the EU.
To find the latest (I)NDC for the UK click here at the UN’s NDC Registry (Interim)
The EU INDC covers all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol (for Ozone) and excluding Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) which were to be included in the greenhouse gas mitigation framework before 2020:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)
Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)
Policy on how to include Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 greenhouse gas mitigation framework will be established as soon as technical conditions allow and in any case before 2020.
Since the EU submitted the INDC that covered the UK it revised its framework in 2018 with new Key EU Targets for 2030.
At least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions(from 1990 levels)
At least 32% share for renewable energy
At least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency
Note that these exclude emissions and removals from land use, emission and removals from land use change and forestry (LULUCF).
UK Climate Change legislation The UK manages its emissions reductions through the Climate Change Act 2008 which: “commits the UK to reducing emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels“.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is the independent, statutory body set up to advise the UK Government on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change. The CCC proposes ‘Carbon Budgets’, which get approved by Parliament, and then need policies and legislation to deliver the reductions.
The Government published its Clean Growth Strategy in Oct 2017, but the CCC Chairman, Lord Deben, said: “The Clean Growth Strategy is ambitious in its aims to build a thriving low-carbon Britain but ambitions alone are not enough. As it stands, the Strategy does not deliver enough action to meet the UK’s emissions targets in the 2020s and 2030s.
The CCC does not believe that the UK is on course to meet the legally binding Budgets “We identify a gap of around 100 MtCO2e (47% of the required emissions reduction) between Government plans and the path required to meet the recommended fifth carbon budget in 2030”
This Fifth Carbon Budget stresses that the budget requires important contributions from:
electric vehicles (making up the majority of new car and van purchases in 2030),
low-carbon heat (providing heat supply for around one in seven homes and over half of business demand),
solid wall insulation (in around a quarter of suitable homes) and
around a 15% reduction in agriculture emissions,
alongside more conventional energy efficiency improvements.
Impact in the UK of Climate Change caused by global warming
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