CCC response to Huhne’s 4th Carbon Budget statement – 17 May 2011

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne today made an oral statement to the House in which he announced that Government would accept the Committee’s recommendations on the 4th Carbon Budget (2023-2027) in full.

This will legislate a cut in emissions of 50% (on 1990 levels) by 2025 and will put the UK on track to meeting the 2050 target (an 80% reduction in emissions). It will limit emissions over the budget period to 1,950 MTCO2e across all sectors of the economy.

The Government said that it plans to review the fourth budget in 2014 to ensure that they are not out of step with the EU. The Climate Change Act stipulates that any such review of the budget would have to be carried out by the Committee on Climate Change.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) responded to the announcement, saying:

“We are delighted that Government has accepted our recommendations on the 4th carbon budget (2023-2027). This is a world first: no other country has made such an ambitious,  legally binding commitment to achieving deep emission cuts in the mid-2020s.

Setting and meeting the carbon budget will place the UK in a strong position, both in terms of meeting the 2050 target, and building an economy very well placed to prosper in a low-carbon world.

The carbon budget will underpin much of the high level ambition set out in the Coalition Agreement. It is important now to translate this ambition into detailed policies with strong incentives.

The key areas to focus on are the Electricity Market Reform, demonstration of CCS technology, the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive, and support for electric vehicle market development.

With the right policies in place, our analysis shows that we can achieve deep emissions cuts over the next two decades in power generation, buildings and surface transport at low cost.

Aiming now to introduce clean technologies in these sectors and meet the carbon budget will ensure that we make the right investment choices, maximising long-term growth and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels”.

A group of business leaders and green groups coordinated by the Aldersgate Group wrote a letter to the Prime Minister David Cameron, and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg welcoming the Government’s acceptance of the 4th carbon budget.