Government accepts fifth Carbon Budget as Rudd seeks to reassure industry

The government has accepted the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation on that the UK should set a target to reduce carbon emissions 57% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030.

Professor Jim Watson, UKERC director, called the announcement: “very good news … this announcement will maintain the level of UK ambition on climate change”.
But he added ” there is no room to be complacent. Many of the policies that have helped to reduce emissions have a limited time horizon. Much more action is needed…
“The uncertainties facing consumers and investors in our energy system were already significant before the European referendum. They are now much larger. Whilst the impacts of Brexit on our energy policies are hard to predict, it is vital that whatever arrangements emerge maintain the UK’s commitment to ambitious climate change action.” (See more)

Amber Rudd reaffirmed the government’s support for “4GW of offshore wind and other technologies,” in a major speech this week. She reiterated plans to close unabated coal stations. And she said the Capacity Market auction later this year was “likely to bring forward significant investment”. She also stressed the government would continue to support new nuclear and heat networks.

She also said “I want to underline our commitment to the issue over which I have primary responsibility; climate change. Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security.”

Responding, Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “ it is positive to hear Amber Rudd highlight the importance of continuing to tackle climate change.”

John Sauven, Greenpeace director said of Rudd’s speech and Andrea Leadsom’s simultaneous appearance at the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, that there was “much needed reassurance …. that there is still a full commitment to the Climate Change Act and UK global leadership on tackling climate change…. But soothing words are not good enough. Green investor confidence in the UK was shaky before Brexit because of the government’s ever changing and incoherent policies, which neither minister seem willing to get to grips with even now.
“Both ministers are willing to reassure Chinese and French investors in Hinkley and other new nuclear power stations but renewables businesses are simply not receiving a fraction of the political or financial support as EDF and the Chinese state-owned companies. If the government intends to cut such a sweet deal for other new nuclear investors, there will be little cash left for any other renewable technologies and bills are likely to rise in the future.
“… more must be done to provide vital support for innovative new renewable technologies, and send a clear sign to the market at this uncertain time.”