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Ministers could use loophole to water down carbon reduction commitments

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Ministers in the UK have the option to ease the nation's carbon reduction commitments by exploiting a legal loophole, despite significantly surpassing the third five-year carbon budget targets, largely due to the pandemic lockdowns
• The Committee on Climate Change has advised against this, emphasizing the importance of maintaining strict targets to ensure the UK's path to net zero emissions remains on track

🔭 The context: The UK's overachievement in its carbon budget was possible due to the unexpected drop in emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic
• This overachievement opens a legal pathway to potentially relax future carbon budgets, a move that is cautioned against by environmental advisors and critics, who argue it could derail the progress towards more stringent net zero goals set for 2050

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Utilizing the surplus emissions savings to relax future carbon budgets could significantly impact the UK's climate commitments, potentially slowing the progress towards global greenhouse gas reduction and net zero targets
• This action could serve as a precedent for other nations, affecting global climate action efforts

⏭️ What's next: The government faces a critical decision on whether to carry forward the surplus carbon savings to the next budget, which could influence the UK's ability to meet its stricter net zero by 2050 commitment
• This decision comes at a time when the UK is already off track for its 2030 targets, highlighting the urgency for continued and enhanced climate action

💬 One quote: "The UK is already substantially off track for 2030, and the government must resist the temptation to take their foot off the accelerator," (Piers Forster, interim chair of the Committee on Climate Change)

📈 One stat: The UK's actual emissions were 391 MtCO2e fewer than the cap for its third carbon budget, representing a 15% reduction beyond the target

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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