Government report highlights rise in 2010 emissions

Posted on 1 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Committee for Climate Change (CCC) report released yesterday (June 30) has shown a lack of progress made in reducing carbon emissions in the UK.

The increase has been blamed by some on the relatively cold winter months, but when this is taken into consideration the target of an annual 3% is still not being met. There was neither an increase nor decrease in emissions when results gathered from the report took the cold weather into consideration.

The report highlights two crucial areas of Government policy to drive down emissions. Firstly, it recommends that in its forthcoming White Paper (July this year) the government should announce new electricity market arrangements based on long term contracts (“contracts for differences”). It stresses the need for a smooth transition from current arrangements to support renewable generation in order to avoid an investment hiatus.

It also recommends that as part of the Green Deal, the government should commit to ambitious targets to insulate all lofts and cavity walls by 2015 and 2 million solid walls by 2020. It further recommends that energy companies should be required to deliver these targets or equivalent emissions reductions under the proposed Energy Company Obligation.

The CCC has said that acceleration in the pace of emissions reductions is now needed. Emissions in 2010 were within the limits of the first carbon budget. However this was due to the recession, in which a lack of economic and business activity reduced emissions by 9%.

Chair of the CCC, Lord Adair Turner said: “The step change that we have previously highlighted has not yet been achieved. It is crucial that Government sets out detailed policies to support power sector decarbonisation and energy efficiency in homes and businesses.”

Earlier this month, the CBI published its Climate Change Tracker, which showed that not enough progress had been made in decarbonising energy, buildings, transport and industry.

Rhian Kelly, CBI director for Business Environment, commented: “Our Climate Change Tracker shows too many gaps in reducing emissions from key sectors including energy, buildings, transport and industry. Recent policy shifts have also dented investor confidence, such as the sudden removal of the incentive behind the Carbon Reduction Commitment.”

“To get back on track, the Government must clarify a number of grey policy areas, including the Green Deal, electricity market reform and the Green Investment Bank.”

George Archer