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No change to the UK’s fourth carbon budget

World Cement,

UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, has announced that the government will not be making any changes to the fourth carbon budget.

Carbon budgets, legally-binding caps on GHG emissions that last for a period of five years, help to lead the way to the statutory target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels. The fourth carbon budget covers 2023 to 2027, with a 50% emissions reduction aim from 1990 levels.

The decision follows a detailed review, which took into account factors such as differing EU Emissions Trading System plans between the UK and other areas of the EU.

According to Davey: “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.”

He went on to add that: “Although I am clearly mindful of the risk that a misalignment between the EU and the UK’s trajectories in the traded sector might result in a disproportionate strain being placed on sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System, the evidence does not indicate that action is required at the present time. Our current estimate is that UK and EU levels of ambition for the sector are likely to be extremely close over the period.”

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will not be amending the fourth carbon budget, stating that the decision demonstrates ‘the government’s commitment to tackling climate change in the most economically sensible way’ whilst also providing ‘the necessary assurances to businesses investing in low-carbon technologies’.

“I am very pleased that the government has accepted our advice given under the terms of the Climate Change Act. This was that the fourth carbon budget should not be changed because the basis upon which it was drawn up had not altered. This confirmation is a further example of the commitment of government and parliament to the battle against climate change,” said Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC. “Business can be confident that the UK is determined to create a low-carbon economy and benefit from the growth and the jobs which that will produce. It is also worth noting that increasing numbers of other countries are following our lead and making the mitigation of climate change a priority.”

Adapted from press releases by

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