The Committee on Climate Change welcomes the government’s decision not to change the fourth carbon budget, following its advice last year.
This is a positive decision demonstrating the government’s commitment to tackling climate change in the most economically sensible way. It also provides the necessary assurances to businesses investing in low-carbon technologies.
Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said:
“I am very pleased that the government has accepted our advice given under the terms of the Climate Change Act. This was that the fourth carbon budget should not be changed because the basis upon which it was drawn up had not altered. This confirmation is a further example of the commitment of government and parliament to the battle against climate change.
“The fourth carbon budget is designed to ensure the most cost-effective way to meet our statutory commitment to an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. Decarbonising our electricity system is an essential step to that end. The government’s reinforcement of its commitment is very welcome and the Committee will continue to monitor developments and advise government of any necessary future changes.
“Business can be confident that the UK is determined to create a low-carbon economy and benefit from the growth and the jobs which that will produce. It is also worth noting that increasing numbers of other countries are following our lead and making the mitigation of climate change a priority”.
Carbon budgets are a set of five-year legally-binging caps on UK greenhouse gas emissions, designed to prepare for the statutory target to reduce emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. The fourth carbon budget covers the period 2023 to 2027 and requires a 50% reduction in emissions relative to 1990.
Last year, the Committee carried out a review of the fourth carbon budget to assess whether the targets set to reduce emissions were still appropriate. It found that there is no economic or legal reason to change the policy, and that the existing budget provides the most cost-effective route to reducing emissions and decarbonising the economy.
The Committee will now use this confirmation from the government to carry out the analysis necessary to set the fifth carbon budget, which will be published at the end of 2015.
You can read Ed Davey’s statement on www.gov.uk