The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has called for the new parliament to urgently publish new plans to meet the UK’s climate change targets. Although good progress has been made against emission reduction targets historically, we are not on course to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. On publication of its 2017 Report to Parliament CCC said, “Effective new strategies and new policies are urgently needed to ensure emissions continue to fall in line with the commitments agreed by Parliament (by at least 50% by 2025 and 57% by 2030 on 1990 levels), and that key risks to homes, businesses, and the natural environment are addressed”. (more…)
Innovate UK has launched the fifth round of the Energy Catalyst. Under this competition, businesses can apply for a share of £13 million for innovative projects that address the issues of cost, emissions, and security of supply. This helps businesses to meet the challenges faced by the energy sector, while at the same time turning them into an opportunity. There will be three types of awards made for projects that are in their early, mid, or late stage of development. Businesses can attract up to 70% of their project costs, which can vary between £50,000 and £10 million depending on the stage and can last between one and three years. More than 200 projects with a total value of £200 million have already been funded in the previous four rounds of the Energy Catalyst. This fifth round opens on 24 April 2017, and the deadline for registration is midday on 21 June 2017. (more…)
As part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle, which took place last week, it was announced that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) would be abolished. Its activities are to be absorbed by the newly created Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The new Secretary of State for the department will be Greg Clarke, who is known to be a “green Tory” and was Shadow Secretary for Energy and Climate Change from 2008 to 2010. The minister, who has written two papers on the positive economic effects of the UK leading the way as a green economy, said of his new post: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy, and tackling climate change.”
As long as this restructuring does not signify a downgrading of the issue of climate change, as some fear, it would seem that bringing these areas under one department is a logical step, given the interrelated nature of science, industry, and energy. Environmental campaigners and some international leaders have criticised the closure of DECC, which they see as reducing support for climate change and sending a negative message to the rest of the world at a time when countries are starting to ratify the Paris Treaty.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published its five-year plan, which details its energy and environmental strategy for 2015 to 2020 and how it will spend its budget for the 2015/16 year.
One of the objectives set by DECC is to “secure ambitious international action on climate change and reduce carbon emissions costeffectively at home”. The report pointed to the untapped potential for energy efficiency measures in the business sector and the need to reduce the administrative burden of energy policy and tax while improving policy to encourage further energy efficiency. DECC confirmed that a government response to the Business Energy Tax Review is expected to be announced in the 2016 Budget. The aim of the consultation, issued last October, is to streamline carbon legislation and associated taxes, possibly through the introduction of a single reporting framework as well as a new energy consumption tax based on CCL.