United Kingdom

United Kingdom

RenewableUK sees carbon budget boost

UK: The UK government is set to adopt a "bold" carbon budget for 2028-2032 as recommended by the committee on climate change (CCC), supporting the case for continued investment in renewables.

Dudgeon under construction… The CCC said offshore deployment was key to reaching target
Dudgeon under construction… The CCC said offshore deployment was key to reaching target

The report said the UK should reduce carbon emissions by 57% compared with 1990 levels to 1,765Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent, including international shipping.

The report was issued by the CCC in November, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has just accepted it to become legislation, as it was legally required to by the end of June 2016.

UK trade body RenewableUK said the government is showing ambition and is providing clarity following the referendum signaling the UK's intention to leave the European Union last week, which has caused uncertainty.

"This government is a global leader in tackling climate change. Today's announcement is especially welcome given the uncertainty caused by last week's referendum. It's a clear signal that the UK will continue to show bold leadership on carbon reduction. This will allow investment to continue to flow into renewable energy projects throughout the UK," said RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal. 

The CCC's report backed the role of offshore wind in reaching the goal: "It is important that the low-carbon portfolio includes rollout in the 2020s of offshore wind and CCS [carbon capture and storage], given their long-term importance and the role of UK deployment in driving down costs."

The committee said it had a "reasonable degree of confidence that later-stage technologies (such as offshore wind...) can be deployed at sufficient scale to meet the 2050 target, given a sensible deployment strategy, supplemented by monitoring and evaluation of costs and technical performance, and measures to address financial and non-financial barriers".

The UK's 2008 Climate Change Act set an 80% emissions reduction target for 2050 compared with 1990. To achieve this, the government sets out a rolling programme of the carbon budgets, each spanning a five-year period.

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