UK approves fifth carbon budget

UK renewables associations have welcomed the announcement that the UK government has set the fifth carbon budget covering the period from 2028 to 2032 at 1,725 MtCO2e.

Ministers have announced they will enact the fifth carbon budget, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 57% compared to 1990 levels, during the period 2028 to 2032, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, in line with the Committee on Climate Change advice.

The latest carbon budget sets the UK on course to ensuring it meets its legally binding target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, according to RenewableUK.

Its predecessor, the fourth carbon budget, covering 2023 to 2027, set out a 52% reduction.

Welcoming the announcement, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said: “This Government is global leader in tackling climate change. Today’s announcement is especially welcome given the uncertainty caused by last week’s referendum. It’s a clear signal that the UK will continue to show bold leadership on carbon reduction. This will allow investment to continue to flow into renewable energy projects throughout the UK.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) deemed the adoption of the fifth carbon budget as ‘crucial first step for renewables post-Brexit vote’ saying that it gives the renewables industry and investors more long-term confidence, but will need to be backed up by supportive policies that will unlock finance in much needed new energy infrastructure.

James Court, REA Head of Policy and External Affairs, said: “This would be the worst time for the government to row back or U-turn on existing commitments, which would be toxic to inward investors. So this is a positive first step, but will need to be backed up by a robust energy plan by the end of the year.

“The referendum has been a shock to economy, yet we still have a looming energy gap. Renewables will be easier to finance than larger centralised projects, will give the UK energy security and price stability, as well as boost new technology jobs and inward investment.”

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