UK needs new policies to hit climate change targets

The Committee on Climate Change has repeated its call made last year for a “step change” in UK policy to meet climate change targets, despite a reduction in emissions.

Although greenhouse gas emissions fell 8.6% from 2008 to 2009, it has mainly been caused by a drop in economic activity as a result of the recession. Prior to the recession emissions fell by 0.6% annually, short of the 2-3% annual cuts required in the period to 2020 to meet carbon budgets. The recession, therefore, has created an “illusion” that progress is being made to reduce emissions.

The committee’s second annual report to parliament continues by warning that the government cannot continue to rely on “light touches”. Instead, it proposes the government introduces new policy in electricity generation, providing greater incentives for home insulation, setting more ambitious targets for the number of electric cars on the road, and encouraging farmers to use fertiliser more efficiently.

The full report can be read here.