Major businesses call on Government to back carbon targets

An alliance of more than 100 organisations including businesses, trade groups, investors and NGOs, have urged the UK Government to follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

An alliance of more than 100 organisations including businesses, trade groups, investors and NGOs, have urged the UK Government to follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and stick to its carbon reduction targets.

Firms including SSE, Kingfisher, DONG Energy, WWF and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) published a joint statement in response to the CCC’s review of the fourth carbon budget, which concluded there is no economic or legal case for watering it down.

They stated: “We jointly urge the Government to stick to ambitious emission reduction objectives for the 2020s to give business the certainty it needs to commit significant investments to the UK’s promising low carbon economy and in so doing, maintain our energy security.”

Friends of the Earth also backed the CCC’s findings, with Executive Director Andy Atkins saying: “There’s no justification for watering down the fourth carbon budget – doing so would drive up emissions, drive away jobs and send Britain’s international credibility on this crucial issue into reverse.”

The manufacturers’ association is however urging the Government to conduct a “hard-edged review” of the Committee’s evidence.

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at EEF said: “Industry will be deeply concerned that the Committee on Climate Change is advising that the UK remains on a unilateral trajectory towards a 50% reduction in emissions. With other EU members showing little appetite to match our ambitions, this will continue to push electricity prices above our competitors and risks pushing investment abroad.

“This move will this do nothing to reduce EU or global emissions or strengthen our claims to global leadership. By signing up to cost increases that are out of line with our competition, the committee risks weakening our manufacturing base and undermining its policy of ‘leading by example’.”

DECC said it would consider the advice “carefully” and publish their views in the New Year.