Higher targets advised for UK

The first report from Britain’s Climate Change Committee urges dramatic new targets to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Guardian reported. The new measures – suggested as part of the UK commitment to cut overall emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 -- propose that the country cut emissions by at least one-fifth from today's levels within just over a decade.


The report entitled “Building a low-carbon economy” would require producing 30% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, enforcing the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to bury emissions from coal-fired plants by the early 2020s and requiring 40% of cars to be low emissions by 2020. The targets would also entail changes in consumer behaviour such as conserving fuel by driving less and eating less “carbon-intensive” meats such as beef.


To achieve these goals, the committee recommended an interim target for 2020 of a 34% reduction, or an alternative 42% reduction if a new global climate deal is reached. These reductions equate to cuts from recent levels of 21% or 31%.


The report estimates that these changes would cost less than 1% of the national economic wealth in 2020. This estimate includes the costs of aiding the 1.7 million people who would otherwise be forced into fuel poverty by electricity and gas price increases.


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