Britain doubles down on climate target, rules out accounting loophole

By Thomson Reuters May 21, 2024 | 7:43 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said it was doubling down on its net zero emissions target after ruling out using an accounting loophole that would have seen it use surplus emission cuts to meet future climate goals.

The move comes after Britain’s independent climate advisers, the Climate Change Committee, warned in February against using the surplus saying it could weaken efforts to curb emissions.

Britain sets five-yearly carbon budgets to help it progress towards net zero emissions by 2050.

For the third budget, 2018-2022, it outperformed the required emissions cut by 15% and could have rolled over the surplus cut to help meet the 2023-2027 fourth budget.

“By deciding not to carry forward our over-performance from the third carbon budget, we are doubling down on our commitment to reach net zero, and we’re already halfway there,” Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Justin Tomlinson said in a statement.

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 5.4% in 2023 and were almost 53% lower than 1990 levels.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Nick Macfie)