UK Climate Change Committee recommends for 60% emissions cut

Report said that UK is now halfway towards the 2050 deadline

The UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) has urged for a 60% reduction in the country's emissions by 2030 for meeting the 2050 target laid down in the Climate Change Act.

The CCC, in its fourth carbon budget report, said that a 2030 emissions reduction target of 60% will pave the way for a 62% emissions reduction by 2030 to meet the 2050 target, reported.

The report said that UK is now halfway towards the 2050 deadline.

Committee chair Lord Adair Turner said that the target is 'stretching but realistic'.

The CCC says that for meeting the 2030 target, the carbon budget up to 2022 needs to be tightened to achieve a 37% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared with 1990 levels, up from the current target of 34%.

The committee further urges that by investing in wind and nuclear power and applying carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to coal and gas facilities, 2030 target can be achieved.

The report also recommends for the roll out of smart meters to homes and non-residential buildings for helping consumers manage their usage.

The report added that the industry will have to adopt CCS technology, as well as the use of biomass and biogas for heat demand.

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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.