New papers have emerged showing international progress in emissions legislation. Analysis has shown that it is not just the UK, but at least another 62 countries around the world that are making efforts to proceed with laws to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Out of an audit of 66 countries, it was found that 62 have in place a ‘flagship law’ that is primarily concerned with addressing climate change. This holds particular importance as this audit accounted for 88% of the world’s greenhouse emissions. As well as the major economic powers, developing and emerging countries such as Ecuador and Mexico are also seeking to tackle emissions.
Under the Climate Change Act of 2008 the UK has promised to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Rather than addressing short term solutions and targets, the legislation is forward thinking and it covers the whole economy.
When compared with different countries, the UK’s pledge is relatively similar to other European countries. Equally, the UK’s recent commitment to reduce emissions by the late 2020’s remains consistent with the European Union’s pledge to reduce overall EU emissions by 2030.
Many of the UK’s trading partners have themselves set greenhouse reduction targets and limits. Take for example Italy’s implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan 2007, while Mexico has the General Law on Climate Change 2012. However, unlike the UK’s legislation, not all countries flagship laws are legally binding.
Although the UK has made strong pledges, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is currently taking the most action. Climate change regulation imposes carbon taxes. However, as it currently stands, the UK averages out at the mid-point, with other countries like Denmark, Iceland and Sweden leading the way with high carbon taxes.
Currently, the UK is part of a group of countries leading the way with climate change legislation. Of course this could change in the future, but as it stands the UK government has pledged high targets in emission reduction with an approach that thinks ahead and can be implemented more acceptably.