UK toughens its carbon target before Biden climate summit

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LONDON (AP) — The U.K. government on Tuesday set itself a more ambitious climate target, pledging to reduce carbon emissions by three-quarters of their 1990 levels by 2035.

The goal was announced ahead of a virtual climate summit that U.S. President Joe Biden plans to host on Thursday.

The new carbon-cutting goal includes for the first time Britain's share of emissions from international aviation and shipping, as well as the emissions produced in the country. The government says the plan will put the U.K. on course to meet its target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The government says the new target will be enshrined in law, with legislation introduced in Parliament on Wednesday and expected to be on the statute books by summer.

“The U.K. will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Johnson, who is set to host a major global climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow in November. said he hoped other world leaders would “follow our lead and match our ambition.”

Britain previously pledged to slash emissions by 68% by 2030, one of the most ambitious targets among developed nations.

The government’s Climate Change Committee recommended the 2035 target last year, and said achieving it would require more electric vehicles, expanded wind power capacity and a reduction in meat and dairy consumption.

Rebecca Newsom of Greenpeace U.K. welcomed the commitment but said “targets are much easier to set than they are to meet, so the hard work begins now.”