Three leading energy trade bodies are urging the Energy Secretary Ed Davey to include a target for decarbonising the energy sector by 2030 in the imminent Energy Bill.
In the letter, also copied to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor, the Chief Executives of RenewableUK, Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the Nuclear Industry Association said a reference to the target in the Bill would drive investment in the low carbon sector. They warned that failing to commit to it would mean missing out on a number of job opportunities.
The letter states: “The power sector will need to be largely decarbonised by 2030 if the UK is to meet its long term emissions targets. If a reference were included in the Energy Bill to this objective, this would not only reassure potential investors by lowering the perceived political risks, but could also reduce the cost of capital for decarbonising the power sector. We therefore believe that this could be very important for investment going forward.”
The UK aims to cut its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 but recently there have been calls from politicians like Labour leader Ed Miliband to decarbonise the energy sector much earlier.
This may not go down too well with the Treasury as Chancellor George Osborne has voiced his concerns about the transition to low carbon being too costly and a new target could also undermine investment in new gas infrastructure, which he strongly supports.
The associations also called for the Energy Bill to “proceed without delay” as they claim “any significant slippage could result in investment being postponed, with major implications for associated new industrial development and jobs in a high-tech, high growth sector”.
Senior ministers are expected to meet this week to discuss the final details of the Bill ahead of its release later this month.