Renewables sector praises ‘clear signal that the UK will continue to show bold leadership on carbon reduction’
The government has this morning won plaudits from green businesses, after announcing it has agreed to set a new legally binding target to cut emissions 57 per cent against 1990 levels by 2032.
As expected the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issued a statement on its website confirming Ministers have approved the recommendations for the fifth carbon budget put forward by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
“The Government has agreed with the Committee on Climate Change and proposes that the fifth budgetary period covering 2028 to 2032 should be set at 1,725 MtCO2e,” the statement reads, adding that associated documents and official impact assessments will be made public shortly.
The move sparked criticism from the Labour opposition, which argued the failure to put the plans before parliament meant the end of the month deadline for formally adopting the new budget would be missed.
The government is also likely to face calls to explain why it rejected the CCC’s recommendation to include the UK’s share of international shipping emissions in the new budget.
However, green industry groups this morning were united in welcoming the decision, arguing it would deliver improved investor certainty at a time when confidence has been dented by the Brexit vote and ensuing political and economic turmoil.
The decision also lays to rest fears that opposition from some Ministers to the proposed target could have resulted in it being watered down.
“Today’s announcement is especially welcome given the uncertainty caused by last week’s referendum,” said RenewableUK chief executive, Hugh McNeal. “It’s a clear signal that the UK will continue to show bold leadership on carbon reduction. This will allow investment to continue to flow into renewable energy projects throughout the UK.”