UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new 2030 climate target for the country, aiming to reduce UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country and was the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. Today’s announcement commits the UK to cutting emissions at the fastest rate of any major economy so far, the PMO said.

In launching the new climate goal, the UK is committing to a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Climate Agreement. The announcement comes ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the historic Paris Agreement, which will be hosted by the UK. The summit calls on countries around the world to submit ambitious NDCs or other climate plans ahead of next year’s United Nations Climate Change conference, COP26.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“We have proven we can reduce our emissions and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process – uniting businesses, academics, NGOs and local communities in a common goal to go further and faster to tackle climate change.

“Today, we are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions by 2030, faster than any major economy, with our Ten Point Plan helping us on our path to reach it.

“But this is a global effort, which is why the UK is urging world leaders as part of next week’s Climate Ambition Summit to bring forward their own ambitious plans to cut emissions and set net zero targets.”

In November, Johnson introduced his 10-point plan for the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution, involving tens of billions of pounds of investments in areas including renewable energy, clean mobility and green building initiatives. Following that announcement, business and investment groups and sustainability-focused organizations issued calls on the government to go farther in its climate commitments, urging for the establishment of an NDC with an ambitious 2030 emissions target.

In response to today’s announcement, Peter Simpson, CEO of Anglian Water and Co-Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“Credible plans matter in the race to zero, so today’s announcement is welcomed. It’s why the water industry recently launched its own routemap to net zero by 2030. There’s never been a more important time for companies to step up, invest, and take action to support both national ambition and global need, and this expectation is something our customers have been very clear about. COP26 means the spotlight is on. Climate change won’t wait for us, and the time for action is now.”