Climate-Change Committee recommends 57% cut in UK C02 emissions by 2030 

emissionsThe Government should continue on the lowest-cost path towards the legal requirement to reduce UK emissions by at least 80% in 2050 on 1990 levels.

And it should also commit to an emissions reduction of 57% by 2028-2032, the Committee on Climate Change recommends in its fifth ‘carbon budget’.

The Committee’s advice balances a range of statutory duties required by the Climate Change Act. This includes ensuring that carbon budgets are affordable, do not adversely affect the UK’s competitiveness, are consistent with energy policy, particularly security of supply, and ensure that potential impacts on fuel poverty are manageable.

The advice also considers the implications of particular circumstances in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, to keep within the emissions limits set by the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, and to stay on track to 2050, a number of new policies and clear long-term signals to investors are urgently required.

By 2030, the Committee’s scenarios to meet the fifth carbon budget involve: 

  • By the 2030s around 1 in 7 UK homesare heated using low-carbon sources of energy, helping to reduce emissions significantly and drive further innovation in delivering sources of low-carbon heat.
  • By the 2030s, the majority of new cars and vans bought in the UKare fully or partially electric, removing a significant proportion of emissions from transport, improving UK air quality and potentially boosting UK manufacturing.
  • By the 2030s, the UK is largely powered by low-carbon sources of electricity, delivering power with emissions of below 100 grammes of CO2per kilowatt-hour (compared to 450g today). Low-carbon options in the power sector are important to support emissions reduction in other sectors, such as transport and heating, as well as to reduce emissions from the power sector itself.
  • By the 2030s, insulation is installed in nearly all UK homeswhere it is cost-effective, reducing the cost of energy to households.

A spokesman for Scottish Renewables commented: “It is important to note that onshore wind and solar, our cheapest renewable energy technologies, play a significant role in all scenarios for our future energy mix, and must be included if we are to decarbonise at the lowest cost to the consumer.

“However it is hard to see how any of these renewable technologies will be able to progress given current uncertainty around future support for the sector from the very Government whose advisors are recommending their expansion.

“The report also contradicts the UK Government’s recent statement to only support the deployment of future offshore wind projects if they further reduce costs by an unspecified amount. The Committee clearly argues that it is UK deployment of offshore wind that drives down costs, not the other way around, and that the future energy mix should include the roll-out of offshore wind.”

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