Climate Change

UK Backs World-Leading Climate Target

Despite concerns for the future of climate action after last week's Brexit vote, the United Kingdom appears to be forging ahead, setting an ambitious climate target that would make the UK the world's leader in carbon emissions reductions.

The UK government has set a carbon emissions target that would lead the world in the scope of its ambition — the Fifth Carbon Budget will cut emissions by 57% by 2032. The announcement, Roger Harrabin reports for BBC News, is expected to reassure investors needed to overall the UK’s aging energy systems.

The UK government’s Committee on Climate Change warns, however, that this target, while ambitious, will be impossible to meet unless policies are improved.

The Fifth Carbon Budget is leaving environmentalists and climate activists breathing a bit easier following last week’s historic Brexit vote, in which UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. Many remain concerned for what Brexit means for the future of UK climate ambition, but this recent Budget has relieved many environmental and energy activists, even as they say the targets need to be more ambitions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rise as close as possible to 1.5C.

Harrabin reports that Energy Secretary Amber Rudd maintains that climate change is still one of the most serious long-term risks to the economy. Speaking at the Business & Climate Summit in London, Rudd said: “Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. We must not turn our back on Europe or the world … So while I think the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away.”

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