Wales’ role – 12 December 2008

Wales’ role vital for achieving required reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Wales will have a vital role to play in contributing towards UK-wide effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 34% by 2020, relative to 1990 levels (21% relative to 2005), revealed the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today. This should be increased to 42% relative to 1990 (31% relative to 2005) once a global deal to reduce emissions is achieved. The CCC says meeting these targets is necessary to contain the threat of climate change.

Notes to Editors:
Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

The CCC is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the
Government on setting the first legally binding carbon budgets, and to report to Parliament on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The CCC also advises on what the UK’s long-term climate change target should be as a fair contribution towards a global deal.

Web address: www.theccc.org.uk/

Welsh Government climate change site:
new.wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/climate_change/?lang=en

  • The UK should reduce Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (77% below 2005 emissions). This would be an appropriate UK contribution to a global deal aiming to reduce Kyoto gas emissions to between 20-24 billion tonnes by 2050 (about 50-60% below current global levels).
  • The 80% target should apply to the sum of all sectors of the UK economy, including international aviation and shipping.
  • Building a low-carbon economy sets out the UK’s first three carbon budgets for 2008-2022. Carbon budgets will apply to all Kyoto greenhouse gases. Two sets of budgets have been proposed, one to apply following a global deal on emissions reductions (“Intended” budgets), and the other to apply for the period before a global deal is reached (“Interim” budgets).
  • The Intended budgets require an emissions reduction of 42% in 2020 relative to 1990 (31% relative to 2005). The Interim budget requires a 34% emissions reduction in 2020 (21% relative to 2005).
  • The Government should not plan to purchase offset credits (e.g. CDM) to meet the Interim budget. More generous use of offset credits, however, would be appropriate in transitioning from the Interim to the Intended budgets.
  • The cost of meeting proposed budgets is less than 1% of GDP in 2020, and potential competitiveness issues for energy intensive industries can be addressed through appropriate design of the policy framework.

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Mark Bainbridge, 0207 270 1916, 07740 612 468