The UK already has one of the most ambitious 2030 targets for reducing emissions in the world, designed to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal.
But, according to a new independent assessment of COP26 and the critical next steps for the UK published today by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK does not yet have all the steps in place to deliver it.
- UK efforts should focus on strengthening delivery of the Net Zero Strategy, rather than inflating the gap between ambition and implementation. Key steps to complete the Strategy need to be brought forward swiftly, including a robust plan to tackle emissions from agriculture and land.
- The Glasgow Climate Pact makes notable reference to ‘phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies’. The UK has a duty to act on this in common with other countries. The CCC recommends that the Treasury initiates a review of the role of the tax system in delivering Net Zero, including the role of tax in achieving a higher and more consistent carbon price across the economy. Low carbon prices are effectively a subsidy. No fossil fuel subsidies should be classed as ‘efficient’.
- The UK’s commitment to the Glasgow Climate Pact can be further demonstrated with stronger actions to tackle the UK’s wider carbon footprint. These could include stronger product standards applied equally at home and to imported goods, carbon border adjustment mechanisms and trade levers, and encouragement of stronger corporate actions to decarbonise supply chains.
- A strengthened UK NDC prior to COP27 could include stronger plans on climate change adaptation, informed by a clear vision for a well-adapted UK and backed by quantitative targets. Other options for strengthening the UK’s NDC include making it legally-binding, clarifying that emissions targets will be met without use of offsets, confirming a limited role only for CO2 removal, and including sector targets from the new Net Zero Strategy.
For a longer summary of the report see the news release.