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07 Sep 2016 04:09:24

New UK carbon budget plan may be pushed back to 2017



The UK government may delay its updated plan to reduce carbon emissions until 2017, reports BusinessGreen. New Climate Change Minister Nick Hurd believes the government needs more time to produce a plan that will achieve the nation's demanding emissions goals. The plan had been widely expected this autumn.

Mr Hurd said the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is reviewing policies to meet the UK’s existing fourth and fifth carbon budgets, on which the upcoming decarbonisation plan are expected to be based.

"This emissions reduction plan is extremely challenging," said Mr Hurd. "It's more important to get this right than to rush something out that doesn't hit the target."

The plan will set out how the government will cut emissions by 57% against 1990 levels, by 2032. It is expected to include ambitious plans to reduce emissions from heating, transport and agriculture, as well as the electrical power sector.

The UK Committee on Climate Change has warned the country is currently not on track to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, largely due to slow progress on renewable heat, low carbon transport and home energy efficiency.

Speaking at an Aldersgate Group event on 6th September -- exploring key priorities for the COP22 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Marrakech, Morocco, in November 2016 -- Mr Hurd restated the government's commitment to the COP21 Paris Agreement, but did not give a firm date for ratification and refused to commit to ratifying this year. However, he insisted the government's commitment was unwavering.

"Please be under no illusions: we will ratify it and we'll do it as soon as possible," he said.

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