UK adopts binding CO2 emission target of 26% by 2020

London, 24 November 2008 – The world’s first legally binding targets for the reduction of GHG emissions have been adopted by UK’s Parliament in the form of a draft law. The law is expected to also receive the formal consent from the British Monarch sometime this week.

The law, which includes limits in terms of the number of carbon credits that can be bought on international markets to offset emissions, requires the UK government to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26 per cent by 2020, and decrease all GHG emission (including those from the aviation and shipping industries) by 80 per cent by 2050.

Based on recommendations from a committee on climate change, the government will have to set five yearly carbon budgets, which will enable the country to meet its short term as well as long term targets. The first set of recommendations from the committee will be issued in December.

On a side note, the UK parliament has also adopted a draft energy law, which aims to enhance small-scale renewable energy production. Feed-in tariffs will be introduced, as well as a regulatory framework for private sector investments in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. It will aslo include the renewable heat sector, currently lacking support under a system. The newly adopted law will act in parallel to the existing ‘renewables obligation’ scheme which targets larger producers.

For more information, consult the British Parliament’s Website.

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