The government’s Clean Growth Strategy includes a wide range of measures designed to meet the UK’s legally binding commitment to cut emissions by 57% in the period 2028-2032, against 1990 levels. The newly published strategy forms the basis of carbon reduction policies, with a number of future actions and consultations designed to expand on these. Following a long wait for its publication, the new strategy has been widely welcomed. However, there is also criticism that it does not go far enough and concern regarding the planned use of “flexibilities”, which indicates that carbon offsets could be utilised to meet the UK’s commitments. Lord Deben of the Climate Change Committee said “We welcome the new thinking and ambition. We also recognise that the Government has identified areas where it will aim to do more and acknowledges there is work to be done to develop effective new policies”. (more…)
The government has published a consultation on the phase-out of unabated coal-fired plants by 2025. This consultation was one of several announcements relating to clean energy last week, providing investors with some clarity following over a year of policy uncertainty. Secretary of State Greg Clarke said, “My priority is to ensure that our country has the electricity it needs to meet all of our needs, at the lowest possible cost and to ensure that we decarbonise our energy supplies.”
The UK is committed to meeting stringent carbon reduction targets under both domestic legislation and international agreements. Because coal emits twice the level of carbon than gas for each kWh of electricity generated, its phase-out is an important element in meeting these targets. In addition, coal emits high levels of other key air pollutants, which are also regulated.