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The UK's fourth carbon budget

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 19th May 2011

On Tuesday, Chris Huhne announced the UK’s fourth carbon budget in the House of Commons. It was confirmed that government would continue to support the legally binding targets which promise to halve our carbon output by the year 2025. Due to the extremity of the improved budget, our international community can see the UK’s commitment to the low carbon economy. These targets set the UK apart from other nations as the budgets runs past 2020.

This target follows on from the Climate Change Act in 2008, which outlined a target to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the UK by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This Act requires government to set carbon budgets, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions over five year periods. Under the terms of the act, the target for the five-year period must be set by June 30, 2011.

In the announcement, it was also made clear that a carbon budget review will take place in 2014 however ‘it is not a get-out clause’ says Gregory Barker, Minister of Climate Change. Another announcement regarding the impact on energy-intensive businesses is due to take place at the end of the year; this will provide said companies with measures to help them adjust to a low carbon society.

“We calculate that we will move up from the present figure of 27,000 jobs in the insulation sector to 100,000 by 2015 and that, at its peak, the policy will result in 250,000 jobs right across the industry, which will have to retrofit every home in the country” says Vince Cable.

The revised budget “will provide greater certainty for business to invest in green technologies and create jobs,” said Peter Young, Aldersgate group chairman.

UK Green Building Council’s chief executive Paul King said: “This is a world-leading target – and absolutely the right decision. Government has shown it still has the ambition, but the proof of the pudding will be in the policies.



image source @ CCC calculations

Categories: decc, renewable energy, government