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Duncan - The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

10 Oct 2008 12:10:44

Committee on Climate Change proposes new 2050 GHG emissions targets

On 7/10/2008, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its advice to the UK Government. This included the recommendation that the target for 2050 should be to reduce GHG levels by at least 80%, and that aviation and shipping should be included in this.

The Committee had a some what balanced approach to decarbonising the transport sector , saying that we should tackle this ‘first through improving fuel efficiency of conventional engines and increased use of sustainable first generation biofuels, with progressive introduction of new technologies such as electric cars, plug in hybrids and hydrogen vehicles, and second generation biofuels.’

It is interesting to note that under the heading Decarbonisation of the power sector , the proposition is that starting now and continuing through the 2020s, the solution is based on replacing existing conventional fossil fuel fired plant with renewable technologies (e.g. wind, tidal), nuclear new build and CCS. There seems to be little mention of distributed generation (DG) of power which would enable the use of localised resources such as biomass & land fill (MSW), as well as any heat produced. As an example Fuel Cells and efficient gas turbines running on syngas from waste would enable the GHG targets to be reached sooner, as well as providing alternatives to the mass deployment of gas and coal fuelled power stations.

The CCC also assumes that “CCS” will be a proven technology and concept, which many including myself question. I for one predict that the CCS option will be the “get out” clause used by the Government for sanctioning the creation of new coal & gas powered power stations in the foreseeable future.

The CCC’s Inaugural Report Tackling global climate change – Building a low-carbon economy in the UK, the 2008-2022 budgets and 2050 target will be published on 1st December 2008.

See here for further details:


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