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Recognizing the urgency to go further to tackle climate change, the UK continues to strengthen its climate policies, presenting ambitious new commitments and concrete plans to confront the climate crisis.
The UK most recently demonstrated its international climate leadership as host of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass a net-zero emissions law requiring it to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), submitted in 2020, commits to reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 68% by 2030.
The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, announced in 2020, sets out the approach to meeting the UK’s ambitious climate targets, including £12 billion in government investment to increase ambition in areas such as clean energy, zero emission vehicles, public transportation, and greener buildings. Among the announced actions is a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, ten years earlier than originally scheduled in the 2018 Road to Zero Strategy.
“Tackling climate change is the one of the most urgent shared endeavours of our lifetimes, demanding bold action from every nation to prevent catastrophic global warming,” said COP26 President and Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma. “As a country, we have demonstrated we can both rapidly cut carbon emissions, while creating new jobs, new technologies and future-proof industries that will generate economic growth for decades to come.
Efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions, including commitments made through the CCAC, will significantly contribute to reaching the UK’s climate targets. The UK supports the CCAC’s Global Green Freight Action Plan and Efficient Cooling initiative. It is also a member of the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership Steering Group and has signed the CCAC’s Ministerial Statement for “Accelerating Cost-Effective Reductions of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants from Global Oil and Natural Gas Operations.” So far, the UK is on track to achieve its Third Carbon Budget target ending in 2022, due largely to emissions reductions in their Oil and Gas sector.
As one of the first countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment, the UK followed suit by endorsing the Biarritz Pledge to quickly improve energy efficiency in the cooling sector.
In 2016, the UK endorsed the CCAC’s Marrakech Communiqué, in which partners commit to reduce black carbon emissions through cleaner diesel fuels and vehicles and develop black carbon inventories and projections. The UK is also cutting down on black carbon emissions by phasing out bagged coal, loose coal and wet wood and decommissioning unabated coal plants by 2023.
Working alongside industry partners in the agricultural sector, the UK formulated the 2016 Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. The Action Plan commits to an 11% reduction in methane and other greenhouse emissions by 2020 with mitigation actions across the entire agriculture sector.
The UK government supports developing countries to respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change as one of the world’s leading providers of climate finance. In 2008, it joined 13 other countries to establish the Climate Investment Funds. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for International Development (DFID) have contributed approximately £2 billion since 2008.
Read more about the UK’s action on climate below.
2021 - During the UK's G7 presidency, Climate and Environment Ministers affirmed the importance of phasing down HFCs and ratifying the Kigali Amendment in the Ministers' Communiqué.
'Breathing life into the UK economy' is a report from CBI Economics, commissioned by the Clean Air Fund, which quantifies the economic benefit to the UK of meeting WHO Air Quality guidelines.
Thanks in large part to the growing number of integrated assessments, tools and good examples, international interest in applying integrated co-governance approaches to solve connected climate,...
These toolkits offer practical tips on how to best engage the public in the UK and Poland (in Polish) on the subject of air pollution, highlights the health conditions that most people...