The fifth carbon budget should be set at 1,765 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), the Energy and Climate Change Committee has told the government.
In November 2015, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its advice on the level of fifth carbon budget and recommended that it should be set at 1,765 million MtCO2e, including 40 MtCO2e emissions from international shipping.
In a new report published today (Wednesday 27 April), the Energy and Climate Change Committee recommended that the government adopt the recommended carbon budget. It said: “Our principal recommendation is that the Government should set the fifth carbon budget at the level recommended by the CCC. Should the Government deviate from the CCC’s advice on the level of the fifth carbon budget, we will be looking carefully for a robust evidence-base on any alternative level proposed.”
However, Friends of the Earth said the carbon budget must be tightened later in the year to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. The environmental campaign group’s climate campaigner Simon Bullock said: “The Government should not only accept the fifth carbon budget, it must strengthen it so the UK makes a fair contribution to preventing global temperature rising by more than 1.5 degrees – as agreed at last year’s Paris climate summit.
“A major overhaul of government climate strategy is urgently required. There is a big gap between ministers’ aims for cutting carbon emissions, and the policies they are carrying out, and this was true even before the Paris Agreement. If we want to decarbonise the UK economy, the Government must stop championing the interests of dirty gas and oil, and end its attacks on clean solutions like wind and solar power.”
The UK Government sets carbon budget for each five-year period between 2008 and 2050, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. The first four carbon budgets up to 2027 have been set in law, covering the period up to 2027 and the energy secretary must set the level of the fifth carbon budget (for the period from 2028 to 2032) by 30 June 2016.