This is a letter from Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC in response to Edwin Poots MLA, Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs request in February 2020 for advice relating to Northern Ireland’s fair contribution to the UK Net Zero target and reductions by 2030, as well as additional correspondence with your officials.
Now that we have conducted a comprehensive analysis of different pathways to reach Net Zero to underpin our advice on the UK Sixth Carbon Budget, we are in a position to provide further advice on the appropriate trajectory for emissions in Northern Ireland between now and 2050.
Our analysis suggests that Northern Ireland achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions is not necessary for the UK to meet its climate targets.
2. Key recommendations
Deep emissions reductions in Northern Ireland are still crucial if the UK is to reach Net Zero overall. On the basis of our analysis, we find that:
- In every scenario for achieving UK Net Zero that we have constructed, Northern Ireland would not get to Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- In our Balanced Net Zero Pathway, which meets Net Zero by 2050 at UK level and on which our recommended Sixth Carbon Budget is based, Northern Ireland would reach at least an 82% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
- Northern Ireland would achieve Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 as part of the Balanced Pathway to UK Net Zero.
- An 82% reduction in all greenhouse gases in Northern Ireland represents equivalent effort and a fair contribution to the UK Net Zero target.