The UK should aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 54% by 2030.
That’s the advice from the Energy and Climate Change Committee ahead of the new global deal expected to be set at the COP21 conference in Paris in December.
Under the Climate Change Act, the Committee is required to advise the government on the level of the UK’s fifth carbon budget by the end of the year.
The budget will set the limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the UK between 2028 and 2032.
The fifth budget marks the halfway point from to the UK’s 2050 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels.
The Committee’s report, which examined the latest climate science, found impacts from climate change are already being detected “from changes in weather extremes and ecosystems to a loss of productivity for some key crops”.
It believes the EU’s current 40% pledge for 2030 suggests a “best estimate” of a reduction in UK emissions of 54% relative to 1990 levels.
Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “The UK’s commitment to reduce its emissions to date has been in line with current commitments by all countries to limit global warming to the internationally agreed limit of 2ºC. Legislation of the fifth carbon budget is an important element in keeping the UK in line with international developments and ensuring UK businesses and households are in a position to benefit from the future low-carbon world.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd added: “We are determined to meet our climate change target in the most cost-effective way and have already reduced our emissions by 30% since 1990.
“Getting a strong deal in Paris is an absolute priority so we can further limit emissions and create a level playing field for businesses globally that drives innovation and grows the low carbon economy.”
The Committee is expected to publish its official recommendation next month.