This letter from Lord Deben, Chairman of the Climate Change Committee is a response to a request from Northern Ireland officials in February 2021 for further evidence on the economic costs of setting and delivering a 2050 emissions target for Northern Ireland.
2. Key recommendations
In December 2020, we recommended that any climate legislation for Northern Ireland include a target to reduce all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 82% by 2050 as part of a fair contribution to the UK Net Zero target in 2050 and our international obligations under the Paris Agreement. This remains our clear recommendation.
- At this time, our assessment is that a Net Zero target covering all GHGs cannot credibly be set for Northern Ireland.
- Northern Ireland’s climate legislation should allow emissions reductions to go beyond our current assessment by requiring at least an 82% reduction, and should contain clear provisions to tighten the target if there is evidence to support such a decision.
- We have also set out additional recommendations on setting targets, which should cover international aviation and shipping, be focused on domestic efforts to reduce emissions rather than credit purchase, and define stretching interim targets on the route to 2050 that are in line with our recommended Balanced Pathway.
- We also recommend that – like the UK, Scotland and Wales – the Northern Ireland Executive produces and monitors statistics on its overseas consumption footprint.