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Paris Agreement: UK Nationally Determined Contribution

Volume 685: debated on Monday 7 December 2020

On Friday 4 December, the Prime Minister announced the UK’s new nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris agreement. This commits the UK to a new ambitious target to reduce the UK’s emissions by at least 68% by the end of the decade, compared to 1990 levels.

This is a step forward in our ambition to tackle climate change over the next 10 years as we accelerate towards meeting our legally-binding commitment to reach net zero by 2050. Just as the UK led the way as the first major economy to legislate for net zero, our NDC raises the bar for global climate ambition by committing the UK to the highest level of emissions reductions by 2030 of any major economy, compared to 1990 levels. The level of the UK’s NDC is consistent with advice from the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC). It is a significant step up from the level of the UK’s previous target as a contributor to the EU’s NDC, which was equivalent to around a 53% UK reduction over the same time period.

As the UK looks ahead to hosting COP26 in Glasgow next year, in partnership with Italy, we are urging all countries to follow suit and come forward with ambitious new NDCs and transformational long-term strategies towards net zero emissions, in order to ensure that this will be a decade of ambitious climate action. The climate ambition summit on 12 December, which the UK is co-hosting with France and the UN in partnership with Chile and Italy, provides an excellent opportunity for countries to come forward with new commitments across the three pillars of the Paris agreement: mitigation, finance and adaptation.

Tackling climate change will remain a top priority for the Government. In November, the Prime Minister announced his 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. Ahead of COP26, we intend to publish a comprehensive net zero strategy, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

The UK intends to communicate its NDC to the UNFCCC by the 12 December climate ambition summit. This will include the technical annex, known as information to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding (ICTU), which will set out the detail underpinning the UK’s headline 2030 target. The UK also intends to communicate an adaptation communication and finance biennial communication to the UNFCCC.

Once formally communicated to the UNFCCC, I will lay the NDC in Parliament and will follow up with letters to relevant Select Committees.