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As global CO2 emissions rise, UK sets new targets

Financial Times

Global CO2 emissions are set to surge by the second-biggest amount in history this year as the global economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, the IEA warned today. Meanwhile, the UK government has announced a new goal of cutting carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 ahead of climate summit with President Biden.

The UK will this week commit to steeper cuts in carbon emissions as it prepares to host the UN’s COP26 climate summit later this year, according to people briefed on the plan.

Prime minister Boris Johnson will in coming days announce a new pledge to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. The new UK target will be announced ahead of a major US climate summit on Thursday, where President Joe Biden is due to outline a new national goal for US carbon reduction.

The UK’s new target is a step forward from its previous aim of a 68 per cent emissions reduction by 2030, which was already one of the most ambitious plans among developed economies. 

Hitting the target will require changes to most industrial activity, including: an electricity system that operates without generating carbon emissions; a reduction in meat and dairy consumption across the UK; introducing low-carbon heating systems in homes; and planting more woodland, according to a report by the Climate Change Committee, the government’s independent advisory group.

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