In June, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) released an annual progress report warning that the government would have to strengthen its resolve to encourage investment in green energy and energy efficiency if it ever hopes to meet its third and fourth carbon budgets.
In response, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has released its official predictions, claiming that the current set of climate and green energy policies have put the country on track to meet the first three carbon budgets, and should help it to reduce emissions by 34% against 1990 levels by 2020.
The CCC said that the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme is failing to give potential investors the security that they require in order to feel safe enough to invest the £110 billion needed to overhaul the country’s energy system and meet the coming emission reduction targets.
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This week the European Environment Agency (EEA) has also stated that the UK is unlikely to meet its mandatory green energy target of increasing the share of energy produced from renewable sources to 15% by 2020.
The coalition government insists that it is on schedule to meet both renewable energy and emissions targets, arguing that the EMR draft released in July does give investors the security that they will need to continue with new clean energy projects.
Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said that the government plans to build on the £35 billion already invested since 2010 in order to develop a balanced energy mix that uses renewables, nuclear, and natural gas to help meet the carbon budgets.
“We've already had record amounts of planned investment in the energy sector and today we have given further confidence to the industry of the support available from Government for new energy infrastructure out to 2021.
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Our latest projections show that we are on track to meet our first three carbon budgets, but we recognise the scale of the challenge that we face in delivering further emissions reductions and meeting the target of the fourth carbon budget.
We agree that we need to increase the rate of decarbonisation which is why we are taking action in a number of areas across the economy.”
The CCC says that the first two carbon budgets will be met only because of the reduced energy demand whilst the economy is slow, and not because of the government’s policies. It will be much harder to meet the other carbon budgets once the economy begins to recover.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com