Hold steady! Government keeps fourth carbon budget

The Government will not water down targets to cut emissions for 2023-27. A review of the Fourth Carbon Budget was announced by Chancellor George Osborne and some feared he would […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Government will not water down targets to cut emissions for 2023-27.

A review of the Fourth Carbon Budget was announced by Chancellor George Osborne and some feared he would weaken it.

But today Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced it will stay put at 1,950 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2), that’s a 50% cut in emissions from a 1990 baseline.

Davey said: “Having conducted a detailed review, it is clear that the evidence does not support amending the budget.”

The current level “provides certainty for businesses and investors” on the UK’s long-term decarbonisation goals, he said.

The Lib Dem minister added: “Any revision now would be premature, especially in light of the ongoing negotiations in the EU to agree a domestic 40% GHG reduction target for 2030 by October this year based on the Commission proposals published in January 2014.”

Lord Deben, Chairman of the government’s climate change watchdog the CCC, said the fourth carbon budget was the “most cost-effective way” to stick to legally binding targets.

Manufacturing body EEF said the Treasury’s review was the “correct approach”, with its Head of Climate & Environment Policy Gareth Stace urging: “Future targets must emanate from clearer strategies for how each sector of the economy will contribute to meeting our shared goals.”