Oh, United Kingdom! Whatever else can be said about your bad food and stupid weddings, this much is clear: You are world leaders in funny sci-fi, classic sketch comedy, thwarted imperialism, and now emissions reduction targets. The U.K. has committed to cutting emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2025, a target that's well beyond the European Union goal of 20 percent by 2020. It's an ambitious plan that takes an uncommonly long view — no other country has set legally binding targets that far in the future.

That 50 percent is the absolute minimum level of cuts recommended by the country's Committee on Climate Change, but it's also a precursor to further cuts in the future. The long-term plan is to cut emissions 60 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, though these goals aren't legally binding yet.

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