Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband has promised that the recession “will not deflect” the Government’s efforts to move to a low carbon economy.
His comments came as the Government formally responded to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) first annual report on carbon budgets – which was produced to Parliament in October 2009. The report, entitled “Meeting Carbon Budgets – the need for a step change”, noted that declining economic activity was likely to have produced an emissions cut of around 2% in 2008 and should not be confused with progress on emissions.
The Government claimed that it would not rely on the reduction in emissions brought about by the economic downturn to meet its climate targets. To reinforce this, any over-achievement in the first carbon budget due to the recession will not be carried forward to allow for higher emissions cuts in the future. Mr Miliband added that the UK is on course to over-achieve on its carbon budgets – the emissions equivalent of fiscal budgets – with an estimated 36% cut on 1990 levels projected by 2020. He also said Britain stood to gain not only from a green jobs revolution, but from measures to help people cut the amount of energy they use.