UK proposes Fourth Carbon Budget

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne today proposed a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases to be emitted by the UK between 2023 to 2027 in a bid to cut Britain’s emissions by 50% from 1990 levels.

In today’s proposal, which is in line with the independent Committee on Climate Change, it sets out a fourth carbon budget of 1950 MtCO2e for the period that will span from 2023 to 2027, putting the UK on course to cut emissions by at least 80% by 2050 above the current EU targets.

“Today’s announcement will give investors the certainty they need to invest in clean energy. It puts Britain at the leading edge of a new global industrial transformation,” said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne. “Under this carbon budget, Britain in 2027 will be a different place and transformed for the better with warmer homes powered by green energy, many more cars powered by electricity and far less reliance on fossil fuels to drive our economy.”

Responding, SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt said, “The automotive sector has a crucial role to play in the transition to an ultra-low carbon economy, both in delivering ever-cleaner products and driving economic growth through low carbon product development. New technologies and alternative fuels have led to a 20% reduction in new car CO2 emissions over the past decade and each year the industry invests billions of pounds in advanced R&D to continue this trend.

“The UK is firmly positioned to attract a significant share of this investment while simultaneously contributing to the reduction in road transport emissions. However, for significant advances to be made in the longer term, direct, sustained support from government to incentivise continued product development, the roll-out of new infrastructure and greater consumer demand is essential.”

The strategy also includes measures to minimise costs of the low-carbon transition to industries exposed to international competition, including a package of measures designed to reduce the impact of government policy on the cost of electricity for energy intensive industries and to help them adjust to the low-carbon industrial transformation.

To find out more about how industry is making progress towards reducing its contribution to CO2 emissions, read the 2011 New Car CO2 Report.

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