Government fails to heed official caution on climate targets

30 Juin, 2018, 22:42 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Ten years after parliament passed the Climate Change Act ministers are still off course to meeting legally binding targets

But the rapid reductions in greenhouse gases came nearly entirely from the power sector.

"UKGBC is calling on the government to set out a pathway to make all new buildings genuinely net-zero carbon by 2030; to put in place effective incentives for home energy efficiency, particularly for able-to-pay homeowners, and to introduce incentives and mandatory operational energy ratings to drive business energy efficiency".

The UK Government's official climate advisers have warned that not enough is being done to address carbon emissions in key sectors of the economy.

The Committee's Chairman, Lord Deben, said: "Although the United Kingdom seeks to lead the world in tackling climate change, the fact is that we're off track to meet our own emissions targets in the 2020s and 2030s".

Home insulation installations are among the cheapest carbon cutting measures but the cancellation of government incentives has caused a 95% drop since 2012, the CCC said. The authors argue that when the United Kingdom abruptly cancels important initiatives like the Zero Carbon Homes plan, the lack of consistent policy carries a "real cost" when it comes to investors and business confidence.

It said that rapid changes in the electricity sector had "propped up" emissions reductions, masking a "worrying trend" of Government inaction in other sectors.

"Today's report shows how the Tories are failing to meet our climate change commitments and how they have made little to no progress in the six months since the last report", shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said.

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He said vehicle manufacturers should also be ashamed of themselves, but acknowledged the motor industry had publicly said it wants to do the right thing.

Setting out a regulatory approach to new auto and van Carbon dioxide targets in 2020/21 in the context of an exit from the European Union, including punitive penalties for manufacturers who do not comply. "It is necessary to ensure the cleaner cars come forward more quickly, instead of being held back while dirtier cars are sold by the industry".

Ministers need to make sure the motor auto industry, "which does not have a track record for straightforwardness", does not try to avoid new regulations so that cars become cleaner quickly, he said.

"And that means the next generation will pay more for the cost of moving from a carbon intensive society to the kind of low carbon no carbon society we need", added Debon. "Indecision risks undermining the remarkable successes of the last decade", Lord Deben, chairman of the committee, said in a foreword to the report.

In a new report, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which provides independent advice to the United Kingdom government on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change, says they are "acutely concerned" by the UK's lack of progress.

Despite the government's recent Clean Growth Strategy, there remains a dearth of detailed policy proposals to ensure decarbonisation takes place across all parts of the economy, especially where energy consumption is highest.

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