MPs Call On UK Government To Delay Fifth Carbon Budget

  • Date: 15/05/16
  • Emily Gosden, The Sunday Telegraph

Ministers should delay setting stringent new climate change targets so the UK is not left taking more radical action than the rest of Europe, a group of MPs have warned.

The Government is obliged under the Climate Change Act to set a target by the end of June for cutting UK carbon emissions in the period 2028-2032.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), its official advisors, have recommended it commit to slashing emissions to 57 per cent below 1990 levels – or about a third below current levels.

It says the plan would require a radical shift toward electric cars, green energy and away from using gas for heating and cooking.

In a letter to energy secretary Amber Rudd, seen by the Telegraph, 15 MPs warn that setting the radical target now will simply allow other countries in Europe to get away with doing less.

While the UK would be expected to be allocated cuts of greater than 40 per cent, precise levels have yet to be determined. However, the CCC has already confirmed that its proposed 57 per cent cut is “tighter than our estimate of the UK share of the EU 2030 target”.

In the letter to Ms Rudd, the MPs warn: “If the UK unilaterally commits to a 57 per cent reduction before these negotiations are complete we would simply reduce the burden to be shared out among other member states.

“Our extra effort would result in no extra reduction in CO2 emissions across Europe as a whole – just a higher burden on British business and a lower burden on our competitors.”

“Being in the EU makes it easier and cheaper for the UK to tackle climate change than if we were acting alone. It means we can level the playing field for the benefit of British families and businesses.”Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman

The MPs, including Owen Paterson, John Redwood and Chris Heaton-Harris, urge Ms Rudd to make good on her vow that the UK would “travel in step with what is happening in the rest of the world”.

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