UK reaffirms carbon budgets, but Truss’s fossil fuel pledges ‘raise obvious concerns’

The UK has submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement ahead of COP27, keeping its 2030 emissions reduction targets despite worries that they might be weakened.

By Sarah George for Edie

In news doubtless overshadowed by the mini-Budget, the updated NDC was published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today (23 September). All nations agreed at COP26 last year to update their NDCs, which outline how they will play their fair share in contributing to the Paris Agreement, ahead of COP27.

The UK’s updated document is 51 pages in length and reaffirms an existing commitment to reducing emissions by at least 68% by 2030, against a 1990 baseline. It also reaffirms the UK’s legally binding 2050 net-zero commitment.

There are no new announcements in the document. Rather, it serves as a recap of the measures the UK has announced and delivered since 2020, including commitments to end unabated fossil-fuelled electricity generation by 2035 and ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030.

Several green economy commentators have taken to social media to express relief that an updated NDC has actually been published by the UK Government, despite a change in Prime Ministers, and despite rhetoric questioning the cost of climate action from Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg, new PM and BEIS Secretary respectively.

“Reaffirming the UK’s commitment to slashing carbon emissions by at least 68% of 1990 levels by 2030 shows a determination by the new administration to demonstrate continued global climate leadership as it prepares to hand over the COP Presidency in November,” said Environmental Audit Committee chairman Philip Dunne MP.

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