Reports: UK to toughen climate target before Biden summit

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

They said the goal is to be announced ahead of a virtual climate summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday. The Financial Times, which first reported the news, said that for the first time the U.K. would include emissions from international aviation and shipping in its goal.

The 2035 plan would put Britain on course to meet its target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The U.K. government declined to comment directly on the reports. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that ministers would be making an announcement “shortly, taking into account the latest advice from the Climate Change Committee.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host a major global climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow in November.

Britain has already 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.”

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