Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 57% before 2032 if the country is to hit its low-carbon targets, experts have said.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the independent body setup to advise ministers, said that the cut was needed by 2028-2032 if the UK was to hit its 2050 target of reducing emissions by 80% of 1990 levels.

CCC Chairman Lord Deben – who as John Gummer served as John Major’s Environment Secretary – said: “The UK has been at the forefront of global action on climate change. As a nation, we have begun the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

“By legislating the fifth carbon budget at the recommended level, the UK Government will take the next important step. That will build on its commitment to the UK’s existing climate targets and send a clear signal to businesses and consumers that UK climate ambition remains on track through the 2020s and into the 2030s.

‘Decoupling’ between emissions and economic growth

“This medium-term vision, balancing a range of considerations, helps to ensure the UK can continue to play its part at lowest cost to business and consumers while properly positioning our country for the environmental and economic realities that lie ahead.”
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has reported an “encouraging signal on the decoupling of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from global economic growth”.

Following a decade of rapid growth, the growth in global CO2 emissions slowed to 0.8% in 2012, 1.5% in 2013 and 0.5% in 2014.
Global economic growth during 2014 continued at 3%.

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