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expert reaction to the Committee on Climate Change’s 5th Carbon Budget

The Committee on Climate Change, who advise the UK government and devolved administrations on emissions targets, have released their fifth carbon budget.

 

Prof. Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford, said:

“In the end, net carbon emissions have to reach zero to stabilise climate. This CCC’s mandate means that, quite deliberately, it encourages us to do the easy stuff first: insulating homes, decarbonising the power sector and so on.

“What we aren’t doing right now is developing the technologies for disposing of carbon dioxide, either underground, under the oceans or wherever, that the latest research shows will be needed in the end to get emissions to zero.  This country is ideally placed to lead the world in carbon capture and storage development, the availability of which will be far more significant to long-term climate than how much we manage to reduce our 2% of global emissions.”

 

Prof. Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, said:

“Prompt legislation on the CCC’s Fifth Carbon Budget at the level it suggests will be the litmus test that shows that the Government remains as committed to the UK’s carbon reduction agenda as it has claimed, despite the doubts raised by recent energy policy changes.

“The CCC’s indicative changes in energy supply and demand that will be required to meet these budgets show the scale of the challenge to which the government needs to rise, across energy efficiency, low-carbon electricity and household heating.  Strong new policies in all these areas will be required if the Fourth and Fifth carbon budgets are to be complied with.”

 

Declared interests

None declared

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