Government publishes Carbon Plan

    2 Dec 2011

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    Publishing the Carbon Plan this week, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has claimed that the UK economy is on track to meet targets.

    Emissions in the UK must by law be cut by at least 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. The Carbon Plan sets out progress to date and assesses the next steps. 

    It claims:

    • that UK emissions have already been cut by more than 25% on 1990 levels.
    • that with the policies already in place the economy will significantly exceed the 34% target set for the first 15 years under the Climate Change Act
    • that meeting the fourth carbon budget of a 50% cut in emissions by the mid-2020s will not have any additional cost implications during this Parliament, but beyond that will require a decade of mass deployment of key technologies.

    The Carbon Plan also considers the cost of meeting the UK’s 80% target by 2050.  A revised online 2050 Calculator allows users to compare the cost of their chosen future energy system compared to doing nothing, or to other low carbon pathways.

    Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: "Publishing the Carbon Plan sends two crucial messages.
    "To the negotiators in Durban working this week and next to make progress on a global agreement on climate change, the Carbon Plan shows the UK is walking the walk, demonstrating that it can be done and living up to our promise to show climate leadership.
    "To the public and businesses at home, rightly worried about the cost of living and state of the economy, the Carbon Plan shows that the gradual rebalancing of our economy away from carbon is achievable and, in the long run, highly desirable.
    "Every bit of progress we make is one more step away from import dependency, away from price volatility and from the emissions that threaten our way of life.  Our national economic interest is to be found in a cost-effective transition to low carbon, to an economy that is more resilient, innovative and efficient.”

    Dr Matthew Brown, CBI Head of Energy and Climate Change policy, said: "The Government's revised plan gives investors a clearer picture of how we will transition to a low-carbon economy, which is welcome. We now need this to be backed by consistent, long-term policies, avoiding any sudden changes of direction which put investors off.

    "We welcome the Government's increased focus on energy efficiency. Businesses would benefit from having a framework which encourages them to be more energy efficient but doesn't damage their competitiveness.” 

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