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EU sets new climate target for UK

The UK has been set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 37 per cent by 2030 under new European proposals, although uncertainty remains as to whether it will need to comply post-Brexit.

The UK has been set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 37 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 under new European proposals, although uncertainty remains as to whether it will need to comply post-Brexit.

The proposals from the European Commission include binding emissions targets for EU member states between 2021 and 2030. 

As a bloc, the EU intends to achieve a total emissions reduction of 40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030.

The newly proposed national targets, which are set against a 2005 baseline, are higher for wealthier countries than less developed ones, with the UK given the joint-fourth highest target. 

Both France and the UK have been set a 37 per cent target on 2005 levels, behind Germany (38 per cent), Denmark (39 per cent), Finland (39 per cent), Luxembourg (40 per cent) and Sweden (40 per cent). 

UK policy

It is not yet clear whether the UK will have to comply given its impending exit from the bloc. However, the 37 per cent target is broadly in line with the UK’s own commitments, which were updated in June 2016.  

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is expected to trigger changes to environmental regulations and policies, although several experts remain optimistic that the transition to a low carbon economy will continue at a similar pace regardless.

Nevertheless, it is unclear whether key pieces of EU policy will feature in a post-Brexit UK, including the forthcoming and widely anticipated circular economy package.

Brexit event

To give business leaders and those in sustainability roles an opportunity to hear from experts on the possible impact of Brexit on environmental policy, North West Sustainable Business Quarterly (NWSBQ) is running a free workshop in Manchester in September.

Attendees are able to choose from a number of topics to steer the content of the event, including waste and the circular economy; chemicals regulation; water; and air quality, climate change and energy.

The ‘Build-your-own Brexit’ event will be held at Citylabs in Manchester city centre on 8 September. For more information, click here