UK PM publishes draft Carbon Plan to deliver Green Government pledge
- 09 March 2011
9 March 2011, LONDON: The Climate Group has welcomed the UK’s draft Carbon Plan, launched by the UK Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg yesterday, that sets out binding deadlines for cross-departmental action to cut government emissions and ensure the UK’s coalition Government can meet its ambition of being the ‘greenest government ever’.
The Plan, which will be finalized in the autumn and reviewed annually by NGOs, emphasizes that the delivery of this low carbon agenda requires a “whole of government approach” with key actions and deadlines for each government department to meet. The draft Carbon Plan which has been published initially takes account of the first three UK carbon budgets (covering the period 2008-2022), which have already been set. In recognition that the fourth carbon budget (2023-2027) will be set in law in June, the Government will publish an updated ‘live’ Carbon Plan in October which takes all four carbon budgets into account.
The Plan attaches specific deadlines to ongoing and planned departmental and cross-departmental action on climate change to ensure both internal accountability and public transparency. Quarterly updates on actions within the Plan will be published on Number10.gov.uk.
The draft Plan highlights that – like any other UK business – the UK Government will do its bit to deliver to the UK’s carbon budgets by setting itself bold targets to cut emissions and become more energy efficient. It will meet its national targets by focusing action on three key areas of domestic activity (applicable across the UK economy): the way electricity is generated, the way homes and businesses are heated, and how people travel.
Internationally, the Plan pledges that the UK Government will continue to work with other countries and with the EU to promote ambitious action on climate change, support developing countries with both mitigation and adaptation measures, and seek further international progress towards a global climate deal.
Deadlines within the draft Carbon Plan include legislation to create a floor in the carbon price by April 2011 and plans to get the Green Investment Bank operational by September 2012. It also highlights delivery targets for low carbon technologies such as Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), pledging that up to 8,500 new EV charging points will be installed across the UK by 2013 and that the first UK CCS demonstration will be awarded by the end of this year.
Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group says: “It is good news that the PM is holding each department to account to deliver on his promise to lead the ‘greenest government ever’. Like any other big business faced with rising energy costs and tight budgets, there are many simple things that government can do to cut energy use, cut its carbon footprint, and save it money. The Carbon Plan is not only good news for the environment but makes good business sense for the UK taxpayer and ensures greater transparency and accountability. Setting the timeline for moving to a low carbon economy also gives increased certainty for business to make the investments necessary to speed the transition to a low carbon economy. Having a national plan is vital but its success can only be judged on the real actions it now delivers.”
Dr Neil Bentley, Deputy Director-General, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), says: “Now the Government has set out the timeline for making the shift to a low-carbon economy, it must stick to it. Businesses need policy certainty and clarity to commit to low-carbon investment, but they still don’t know how key initiatives will work, including the new planning system and the Green Deal.”
The CBI also called on the Government to restore the revenue-recycling element of the Carbon Reduction Commitment in the Budget on 23 March.