Renew On Line (UK) 67

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 167 May-June 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         
 
Contents

1. UK-2GW of wind and more
2. Energy White Paper delayed
3. Climate Bill emerges
4. £13m Scottish Marine Energy programme
5. Low Carbon Buildings Programme
6. Carbon Emissions and Offset Code
7. More RO squabbles: OFGEM opposes RO
8 UK roundup: Bio-energy
9. EU roundup
10 World roundup
11. Nuclear News

3. Climate Bill emerges

The Governments new Climate Bill, announced in the Queens Speech last year, emerged in March. In addition to encoding the UK target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050 in law (see below) the Climate strategy paper sets out a vision for how the UK can move to a low carbon economy including ‘investment in low-carbon fuels and technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, wind, wave and solar power’ and ‘significantly more efficient use of energy’, with a ‘step change in the way energy suppliers operate so that they focus on reducing demand rather than just supplying as much energy as possible’.

It sees ‘consumers becoming producers as well as consumers of energy’ and includes measures to help consumers save (and generate) energy, something also emphasised by Gordon Brown in a linked speech to the Green Alliance, in which he said that, in addition to his earlier commitment to ‘zero carbon’ new houses, ‘over the next decade my aim is that every home for which it is practically possible will become low carbon’.

Climate Bill Targets

The Climate Bill sets targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions- making a 60% cut by 2050 and a 26 -32% cut by 2020 legally binding. It proposes a system of legally binding 5 year ‘carbon budgets’, set at least 15 years ahead, ‘to provide clarity on the UK’s pathway towards its key targets and increase the certainty that businesses and individuals need to invest in low-carbon technologies’.

A new statutory body, the Committee on Climate Change, will ‘provide independent expert advice and guidance to Government on achieving its targets and staying within its carbon budgets’, with annual reports. But aviation and shipping still fall outside the targets.

*In his Green Alliance speech, Brown said that high energy GLS lightbulbs will be phased out by 2011.
In his Budget he supported Carbon Capture and Storage, but road fuel tax only rose 2p, in line with inflation, while road tax went up to £400 for high carbon cars.

Climate politics

David Miliband has admitted that up to half of the proposed 60% UK emission reduction could be legally met by permits bought in from outside the EU e.g. from Africa. But otherwise the Climate Bill was generally well received. However, there's a long way to go before it gets acted on.

There had been speculation that, like the White paper, the Climate Bill too would be delayed, but a source told Reuters (12/03) that there was ‘no linkage’ between them, which seems odd. But then some say, the DTI (on energy) and DEFRA (on climate) don’t communicate well- and that the new White paper might try to resolve this by creating a new Dept of Energy and Environment- an idea backed by Peter Hain and it seems being considered by Brown. In the event though the Climate Bill’s timing and content seems to have been more linked to Browns Green Alliance speech /budget.

In the next few months, the political temperature may rise further, given that Michael Meacher, one time Environment minister, has entered the Labour leadership contest, with a very anti-nuclear and pro-renewables policy. Gordon Brown has expressed support for nuclear, as has John McDonnell. Even David Miliband has backed nuclear as an option. See www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page11047.asp

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