Government set to adopt targets to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030


The Government is set to adopt targets to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as it seeks to show its commitment to tackling climate change.

Ministers will lay regulations in Parliament for the "fifth carbon budget", which governs the reductions in greenhouse gases for the period 2028 to 2032, and are expected to accept recommendations from advisers for a 57% cut by 2030. 

The move comes amid concerns that Brexit could undermine the UK's position as a leader on climate action, fears which Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has moved to quell in a speech to business and climate leaders.

Ms Rudd admitted the vote to leave the European Union had made it harder to tackle climate change, but insisted the Government's commitment to action remained intact.

She also said she would hold any Tory leadership candidate and future prime minister to account on dealing with global warming.

The Government's advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) last year recommended setting a fifth carbon budget at levels that would see a 57% reduction in greenhouse gases on 1990 levels by 2030.

The cuts would mean the UK stays on track to meet its legally-binding target to reduce emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by mid-century, the Committee on Climate Change said.

Delivering the cuts cost-effectively would involve changes to homes, with insulation installed in nearly all UK homes where it is feasible and around one in seven houses heated with low-carbon sources of energy such as heat pumps by the 2030s.

The majority of new cars and vans bought in the UK by the 2030s would be fully or partially electric, while the UK's electricity sector would be largely powered by low-carbon sources, such as nuclear, renewables and power plants fitted with technology to capture carbon emissions.

Emissions are already down by well over a third on 1990 levels, but data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change have suggested the UK is not on track to meet the 52% cut put in law for the fourth carbon budget from 2023-2027.