CCC welcomes new Government commitments to reduce emissions – 14 January 2010

Government today responded to the CCC’s first annual progress report to Parliament, and committed to redouble its efforts to reduce emissions from harmful greenhouse gases in order to meet Carbon Budgets and help to tackle  global warming.

The UK is working towards achieving a 34% reduction in emissions by 2020, which requires annual reductions of 2-3%. However, the CCC’s progress report found that the UK has only achieved annual average CO2 emissions cuts of around 0.5% in recent years. It called for a step change to be made by Government in the pace of emissions reductions so that the UK remains on track to meet Carbon Budgets and its wider commitments to tackle global warming. It highlighted the need for action notwithstanding the recession, and the need for policy strengthening to drive the required step change.

In launching the Government’s response, the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband said:

“The recession will not deflect the Government’s efforts to cut emissions and move to a low carbon economy. We will not let up on the fight against climate change, instead we must redouble our efforts at home and internationally so the UK emerges from the global downturn building on the opportunities and benefits a low carbon future will bring”.

The response accepts the recommendations of the CCC report, acknowledging the need for a step change going beyond any emissions reductions resulting from the recession, and setting out new initiatives for policy strengthening in key areas including a review of the electricity market arrangements. It also broadly accepts the Committee’s framework of indicators against which future progress reducing emissions will be assessed.

Lord Turner, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, responded to the report on behalf of the Committee saying:

“We welcome this positive response to our first report to Parliament. It starts to address issues that we raised, and moves us closer to a framework that will drive required emissions cuts. We look forward to departmental action plans and the 2050 vision to be published by the Government in Spring, and will provide an updated assessment of progress meeting carbon budgets in our June report to Parliament.”

Notes to Editors:
Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body established under the
Climate Change Act to advise the UK Government on setting carbon budgets, and to report to Parliament on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

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Emily Towers, CCC Communications Manager, 07766 366 577