The UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) yesterday warned Energy Secretary Chris Huhne away from using offset credits to meet the UK’s second carbon budget, spanning 2013-2017.
“Offset credits should not be relied on now to meet carbon budgets. It is possible to meet these budgets at low cost and through domestic action alone,” says chief executive David Kennedy.
In a letter to the Energy Secretary, the Committee also recommended tightening up the second and third budgets, covering 2013-2017 and 2018-2022, to reflect current targets and the impact of the recession.
The budgets can be met through cost-effective domestic measures, says the Committee, through measures such as renewable and other forms of low-carbon power generation, reducing emissions in energy-intensive industries by improving energy efficiency, encouraging renewable heat and developing carbon capture and storage technology.
The Committee says existing schemes like improving insulations levels in homes should be continued and stepped up, as well as increasing the number of electric cars and vans on the road to over 650,000.
In a more contentious suggestion, the Committee also calls for construction to start on three new nuclear and to have two carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in operation by 2017.
“Reducing our own emissions now is necessary if we are to be on track to the deep domestic cuts required through the 2020s, and to developing new green industries including energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Kennedy adds.
For further information:
UK legislation could curtail sustainable development, warns committee (22-Mar)
UK Government reveals details of revised solar feed-in tariffs (18-Mar)
Cameron and Clegg set carbon action deadlines for Whitehall (8-Mar)
23 March 2011