Progress on Carbon Budgets - Environmental Audit Committee Contents


9.  The Committee on Climate Change should continue to keep the level of the carbon budgets under review to fully reflect the evolving climate change science, and the Government should be ready to tighten these budgets on advice from Committee on Climate Change. (Paragraph 18)

10.  If the EU moves from a 20% to a 30% emissions reduction target for 2020, the Government must tighten its second and third carbon budgets to make them consistent with the Committee on Climate Change's intended budget levels. (Paragraph 24)

11.  We recommend that the Government abandon its review of the fourth carbon budget. However, if it is unwilling to take such a step, it should use its response to this report, or its response in October to the Committee on Climate Change's fifth progress report, to (i) commit to not loosening the fourth carbon budget, (ii) identify when it will come forward with key policy initiatives to bridge the non-traded sector of the fourth carbon budget, (iii) state how it plans, through the discussions with the European Commission, to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, and (iv) explain what would represent a 'significant change' to support an adjustment to the budgets under the provisions of the Climate Change Act. (Paragraph 36)

12.  In preparation for a global deal on climate change in 2015, inevitably couched in terms of the 'production' of emissions, the Government should re-examine with the Committee on Climate Change the possibility of introducing a supplementary target focused on emissions 'consumption' embedded in imports, and the potential implications of such a target for the industrial strategies recently published by BIS. (Paragraph 42)

13.  The Government should urgently review the barriers holding back take-up of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation schemes, including a survey of potential clients, in time to bring forward fiscal incentives in the Autumn Statement 2013 to bolster them before low take-up rates produce a widespread lack of confidence among both clients and the industry. While DECC has to find staffing reductions as a result of the recent Spending Review, the resources needed for the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation review should be given priority. (Paragraph 53)

14.  In light of the evidence we have received in our inquiry, during the passage of the Energy Bill the Government should reconsider setting a decarbonisation target now for 2030, which would deliver the Committee on Climate Change's recommended limit of 50g CO2/kWh by 2050. (Paragraph 59)

15.  When the Government provides its response to the Committee on Climate Change's annual progress reports it should facilitate a debate on those responses in the House (Paragraph 61)

16.  We recommend that:

  • The Carbon Plan be updated on an annual basis, after the Government reflects on the Committee on Climate Change's annual progress report.
  • Changes to policies, and the impact on emissions abatement expected, be spelt out in the updated Carbon Plan. Revised estimates of emissions reductions from all policies should be included as an annex.
  • The Government report progress on a quarterly basis against all milestones in the Carbon Plan. Any delays that might materially affect the UK meeting the carbon budgets should be explained.
  • The National Emissions Target Board convene regularly. It should actively monitor performance of policies in reducing emissions, and take explicit account of the Committee on Climate Change's progress reports. The Board must take control of identifying the new policies and incentives needed in the next two years to get the UK on track to meet the third and fourth carbon budget. (Paragraph 68)

17.  The Government should reconsider placing a statutory duty on local authorities to produce low-carbon plans for their area and work to ensure that all local authorities are measuring and reporting on their emissions. (Paragraph 73)

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Prepared 8 October 2013