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Is the Government's Nationally Determined Contribution up to scratch?

Is the Government's Nationally Determined Contribution up to scratch?

3rd December 2020

The Goverment will soon be announcing it's long awaited Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 2030 target ahead of COP26. But will the NDC position the UK as a climate leader? 

The Committee on Climate Change have recommended a 2030 decarbonisation target of at least 68% against 1990 levels, and the Government are widely expected to adhere to this advice. This would be world leading as things stand. But does it go far enough? And beyond the headline target, what else should the NDC include? 

After hearing evidence from a series of expert witnesses, the APPG on Climate Change has laid out a series of tests for a truly ambitious NDC:

  1. A Commitment to reaching net zero emissions at the very latest by 2050 and an emission reduction trajectory that significantly exceeds the pathway required globally to keep warming below 1.5ºC– reflecting the UK’s historical emissions and current capacities.
  2. Economy wide mitigation targets covering all greenhouse gas types and sectors, including aviation and shipping and explicitly excluding the use of international carbon credits.
  3. Details of domestic policy action being taken to ensure both the 2050 and 2030 targets are met.
  4. Details of steps being taken to address the UK’s consumption emissions.
  5. Specific targets for adaptation and resilience building linked to the National Adaptation Programme.
  6. Commitments to supporting international mitigation and adaptation through financial support, technology transfer, and capacity building - including an increase in International Climate Finance from the £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26 currently committed to.
  7. A high level of precision and detail, providing clear objectives about what it wants to achieve and how it will get there – adhering to the principles set out in the Katowice rulebook.
  8. Alignment with measures for a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19.

These tests are backed by APPG Chair Caroline Lucas MP, Vice-Chairs Alex Sobel MP and Daisy Cooper MP and Officers Barry Gardiner MP and Alan Brown MP

Full details on the evidence and rationale behind these tests can be found here

In the coming weeks we will be assessing the UK NDC against these tests to see if it is up to scratch.