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UK to Set World’s First Post-2020, Binding Carbon Goals

The U.K. government will today set out plans to cut carbon emissions in half by 2027, from 1990 levels, the BBC reports.

This will make the U.K. the first country in the world to declare a binding target beyond 2020, according to BBC environment correspondent Richard Black.

Energy secretary Chris Huhne is set to reveal the country’s fourth carbon budget in the House of Commons. The budget is based on recommendations from governmental advisory body the Committee on Climate Change, which had called for a 50 percent cut by 2025.

Huhne’s 2027 target is part of a longer-term goal of a 60 percent reduction by 2030, the BBC reported.

The carbon budgets are a set of five-year binding targets setting out how the UK will get to its eventual aim of cutting emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Last week Huhne and business secretary Vince Cable – a fellow Liberal Democrat in the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition government – were reported to be engaged in a bitter disagreement over the proposed targets. Cable reportedly said that the targets were too aggressive and would burden the U.K. economy, and prime minister David Cameron was reported to have sided with Huhne.

Environmental groups then took aim at Cameron, saying that he must back the stronger targets to give credence to his pledge of running the “greenest government ever”.

Picture credit: Department of Energy & Climate Change.

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