The Glasgow climate pact, agreed by almost 200 countries at COP26 in November 2021, recognised the need for accelerated action to limit global warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial temperatures. It called for all countries to “revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022, taking into account different national circumstances”.
During its COP presidency, the UK has been working with partner countries, non-state actors and civil society to encourage countries, particularly major emitters, to respond to this call. And the UK has shown leadership by revisiting its own NDC to ensure it remains a fair and ambitious contribution to global action on climate change. The latest science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—IPCC—published earlier this year highlighted the closing window for action to keep 1.5° C in reach and made clear the urgency of delivering on the Glasgow climate pact.
In revisiting the UK NDC, the Government considered a range of factors including the latest available science, expectations in the Paris agreement and the Glasgow climate pact, the UK’s existing 2050 net zero commitment, and energy security, as well as advice and evidence from the Climate Change Committee and other independent commentators.
The UK has strengthened its NDC by making the following updates to the accompanying information to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding—ICTU—in line with international best practice and the Paris agreement rulebook:
clarified how the target—which remains a commitment to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030 on 1990 levels—aligns with the Paris Agreement temperature goal;
explained more fully how the UK will deliver the NDC by 2030;
updated on the progress made in expanding the territorial scope of the NDC to include the UK’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories; and
included more, detail on levelling up, gender, green skills, public engagement, Just Transition and how the UK is supporting other countries with delivery of their NDCs.
The UK’s NDC requires the fastest rate of reduction in greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2030 of any major economy and is on a trajectory to net zero by 2050. The Government are committed to net zero by 2050 and looks forward to the review led by Chris Skidmore to ensure that it is delivered in a way that is pro-business and pro-growth.
Since submitting the NDC in December 2020, the UK has published a range of sectoral strategies and plans and has signed up to numerous pledges and actions to deliver on the 2030 target. The Prime Minister has also announced an ambitious package of measures to tackle soaring energy prices and ensure the UK’s energy security, following Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
The UK will submit its updated NDC to the UNFCCC in time for the deadline for inputs to the NDC synthesis report, 23 September 2022, and will lay a copy in the House at the same time.