UK government leads the transition to a low carbon future

16 July 2009

In publishing The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, the UK government is putting the UK on track to a low carbon economy.

The white paper lays down the measures to meet its legally binding target of cutting emissions by 34% by 2020. The main policies driving emissions reductions are the EU Emissions Trading System, energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy for heat and transport. New policies announced today include piloting "pay as you save" for domestic energy saving; clean energy cashback for householders and businesses; support for a smart electrical grid and; new vehicle {CO2} standards as well as the largest demonstration project in the world for new electric cars.

Published in parallel, the UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy sets out the scale of potential business opportunities. Budget 2009 announced £405 million of new funding to encourage business to invest in low carbon technology and up to £4 billion of new capital from the European Investment Bank to support renewable and other energy projects. The UK government estimates that by 2020, more than a million people will work in the low carbon and environmental sector, with half a million additional UK jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Mark Kenber, Policy Director at The Climate Group says: "We welcome government efforts to provide greater clarity and certainty necessary for businesses to make major low carbon investment decisions in the UK. The White Paper sends a strong signal to UN international climate negotiations that major global economies like the UK are confident that switching to a low carbon economy makes sense for the planet, for jobs and for future prosperity. We hope the UK's policy leadership can help break the current deadlock around a robust international climate deal and that this in turn will spur greater UK ambition to 2050."

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