EEF disputes Committee on Climate Change findings

EEF is concerned that the Committee on Climate Change's submission of information to government on the UK's alignment with EU carbon budgets is premature and risks exposing British industry to uncompetitive energy costs. Image courtesy of Stewart Black.

EEF has called the Committee on Climate Change’s findings on the review of the fourth carbon budget into question.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) yesterday wrote to Energy Secretary Ed Davy to update him on its review of the fourth carbon budget, the full conclusions of which will be published in December this year.

The letter responded to the concerns of contributors to the CCC’s call for evidence over the alignment of the UK’s budget with EU intentions.

“Responses to our recent Call for Evidence have suggested the need to clarify at an early stage the implications of European circumstances for the budget,” said the letter.

Informing any government response to such concerns, the CCC advised “The assumptions regarding EU circumstances upon which the fourth carbon budget decision was made have not changed, and therefore there is no legal or economic justification to change the budget in this respect at this time. Rather, the budget remains cost-effective, with manageable costs and impacts, given our assessment of EU developments.”

However, speaking for the manufacturing industry, EEF responded to this statement with some concern.

Gareth Stace, EEF head of Climate & Environment Policy at EEF said: “The CCC seems to have overlooked that the 2025 target, accepted by the Government and Parliament, came with a caveat that if our domestic commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the rest of the EU then we will align our own commitments.

“The rest of the EU has not followed our lead and we are still waiting on agreement of the EU 2030 climate package, which is uncertain and delayed.”

Mr Stace questioned how the CCC can make an informed judgement today, that the 2025 target will be in line with the Britain’s competitors in the EU and across the globe while “significant uncertainness remains”.

“The government has made a commitment to ensuring that the climate change costs industry is facing are not out of line with the rest of Europe,” said Stace.

“It is vital that its response to the advice from the CCC delivers on this.”

Read the letter from the CCC to Ed Davey in full here.