UK revises national carbon neutrality targets upwards

Launch of a historic vaccine campaign, last minute negotiations to secure a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union (EU)… The British government is on all fronts, including climate change. Thursday, December 3, he announced that he had revised his ambition upwards, and had set himself the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by ” at least 68% ” by the end of 2020 compared to the level of national emissions in 1990 (compared to 61% so far).

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With this new target, the United Kingdom takes the lead among advanced countries in national contributions (Nationally Determined Contribution) most demanding under the 2015 Paris Agreements.

This new commitment comes a week before a – virtual – climate conference on December 12 co-organized by London, Paris and the United Nations (UN) to mark – precisely – the five years of COP21. It also follows, logically, to the presentation by Downing Street, at the end of November, of a “green” plan in ten points, supposed to create 250,000 jobs in ten years thanks to the energy transition and with as flagship measure l ‘ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles from 2030.

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“Today we take the lead [des pays occidentaux] with a new goal, for 2030, and our plan [vert] in 10 points will help us, welcomed the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. We have proven that we can reduce our emissions while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs by getting businesses, academics, NGOs and local communities to work together for a common goal: to further combat global warming. ” In mid-2019, the UK was the first G7 economy to legislate the goal of a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

A commitment lower than requests, but welcomed

It was former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May who pushed this decision through the House of Commons. His successor, Boris Johnson, also seems to be betting on the environment to maintain the UK’s rank after Brexit. 2021 will be an important year in this regard: the country is hosting COP26, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Thursday’s announcement will in any case strengthen the pressure on the EU, while the heads of state and government of the Twenty-Seven meet on December 10 and 11 in a European Council, with the menu, among others, adoption of a common 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on the continent by 2030.

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