The Government has today published a new Clean Growth Strategy, setting out how it intends to further reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the UK’s legally-binding carbon targets (‘carbon budgets’).
In response, Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said:
“We welcome the publication of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. As the Government has identified, the UK has been a world leader in climate action whilst successfully growing its economy. The challenge now is to deliver the ambition in the strategy and ensure that the fourth and fifth carbon budgets are met through domestic action.
“New policies included in the strategy will begin to close the significant gap between existing policies and what is required to meet the carbon budgets. We welcome the new thinking and ambition. We also recognise that the Government has identified areas where it will aim to do more and acknowledges there is work to be done to develop effective new policies. This work will need to progress quickly in order to meet the legal obligations in the Climate Change Act and to realise the Government’s ambition to build a world-leading low-carbon economy.
“In that context, we welcome the publication of timelines for policy development, the commitment to annual monitoring and updating of the Government’s low-carbon plans and the reinstatement of the Inter-Ministerial group on Clean Growth. Now the hard work begins.
“We note that the Clean Growth Strategy suggests that ‘flexibilities’ in the Climate Change Act could be used to meet the carbon budgets in place of domestic action. This should not be the plan. The clear intention of the UK’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets is that they are delivered through domestic action to keep the UK on the lowest cost path to the 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% compared to 1990 levels. That should be the goal, without the use of accounting flexibilities or reliance on international carbon credits.
“The Committee will provide a full assessment of the Clean Growth Strategy when Parliament returns in 2018 and will continue to support the Government to deliver on its climate change ambitions.”