UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Nick Clegg today launched a carbon action plan setting new deadlines for Whitehall.
The Carbon Plan sets out how the UK must change the way it generates electricity, moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewables, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
To answer criticism that the ‘greenest government ever’ is not making fast enough progress, the plan sets specific deadlines for action across all government departments, including legislating for a floor carbon price by this April, a decision on the first CCS demonstration project by the end of the year and an operational Green Investment Bank by September 2012.
Cameron and Clegg also challenge the Department for Transport come up with a nationwide plan for the installation of electric vehicle infrastructure by the summer and Defra to launch a pilot project demonstrating emissions reduction in farming.
The plan also holds the Coalition to its pledge to cut its own emissions 10% in its first 12 months of office – which will expire this May.
“This Carbon Plan sets out a vision of a changed Britain, powered by cleaner energy used more efficiently in our homes and businesses, with more secure energy supply and more stable energy prices, and benefiting from the jobs and growth that a low carbon economy will bring,” say Cameron and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne in their forward to the plan.
The draft plan, which is now open for comment from the public and organisations, also targets a step change in how buildings are insulated and heated, using new low-carbon alternatives like heat pumps.
Cameron and Clegg also set out how the UK will work within the EU to drive forward emissions reduction targets, help developing nations and move towards a global climate change deal.
Huhne will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the vice-chair of the Local Government Association, Richard Kemp, later this week committing local councils to work with the Government on reducing emissions from their own operations, as well as from homes, businesses and transport in their region.
For further information:
UK Government puts sustainability at the heart of policy (1-Mar)
Denmark joins UK in call for deeper European emissions cut (25-Feb)
UK Government sets Green Economy Council on course (17-Feb)
Renewables could raise £12 billion for cash-strapped local UK councils (17-Feb)
08 March 2011