HM Government today confirmed it is accepted the Committee on Carbon Change’s (CCC) recommended carbon budget, which lays out a 57% reduction in carbon emissions from their 1990 levels during the period 2027-32.
The legally binding targeted reduction is likely to impact significantly upon the UK’s domestic heating sector. According to the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), heating accounts for almost half of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. The government’s acceptance of the budget has received a largely positive if qualified response from industry.
James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said, “The fundamentals of energy have not changed post-referendum, we still need new generation that is cost effective, low carbon and secure.
“This would be the worst time for the government to row back or U-turn on existing commitments, which would be toxic to inward investors. So this is a positive first step, but will need to be backed up by a robust energy plan by the end of the year.”
Jonathan Selwyn, Chief Executive of The Solar Trade Association (STA) said, “The STA very much welcomes the strong support expressed for solar by the Committee on Climate Change and by the Minister in her evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee yesterday.”
“However, in our meeting this week with Minister Andrea Leadsom we urged her Department to take specific actions to address the significant slow-down in the industry following the recent changes to the solar support framework. We believe that a number of relatively minor changes could help stimulate the market.”
“As an industry we are on the path to a subsidy-free future, we hope by the early 2020s. To achieve this, we need a flourishing UK industry and a government that allows us to compete on a level playing field with other renewables as well as nuclear and gas.”
The EEF which represents many British manufacturing and engineering company also welcomed the announcement. Claire Jakobsson, Head of Energy and Environment Policy at EEF, said, “Today’s announcement from the Government, setting the Fifth Carbon Budget in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation, is to be welcomed not least by those manufacturers sitting in many of the UK’s low carbon supply chains.
“With the unprecedented level of uncertainty created by last week’s referendum result, it is essential that the Government looks to provide stability and continuity where it is able to. Confirming the Fifth Budget at this level provides a positive signal that whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU is to be, the scale of our emissions reduction ambitions and the direction of travel will remain unchanged.
“Government must now work closely with industry to develop the detail that will underpin this target, ensuring a framework that helps our most energy intensive industries decarbonise competitively, but also drawing on the strengths of UK manufacturing.”