UK could miss carbon emission targets, says report

23 July 2012 (Last Updated July 23rd, 2012 18:30)

Lack of detail in the draft Energy Bill proposed by the UK Government may cause the country to miss its carbon emission targets, according to a new energy and climate change committee (ECCC) report.

Lack of detail in the draft Energy Bill proposed by the UK Government may cause the country to miss its carbon emission targets, according to a new energy and climate change committee (ECCC) report.

The report, entitled 'Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the Draft Energy Bill', explained that the current climate change targets and potential of energy efficiency measures are not considered by the bill.

Construction of new high-emission fossil fuel power stations could be regular if the current bill is taken into consideration, the report said, adding that the UK must follow its delivery timetable if its wants to meet its climate change and renewables targets and retain security of supply for 2020.

"We are extremely concerned that the department of energy and climate change (DECC) delivery timetable has already slipped, and that there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done to finalise the legislation," the committee said.

"We are extremely concerned that the DECC delivery timetable has already slipped, and that there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done to finalise the legislation."

"We believe that an explicit reference to the carbon budgets in the bill, as well as making the committee on climate change a statutory consultee on the delivery plan, would help to create greater certainty about the UK's commitment to meeting its statutory obligations."

The draft Energy Bill was published in May and outlined plans to attract investment of £110bn and to upgrade grid capacity to meet rising demand for electricity.

But MPs point out in the latest report that there us a conflict between the department of energy and climate change and the UK treasury, which is causing uncertainty among the investor community.

Nuclear Industry Association chief executive Keith Parker commented on the damning report.

"As the committee points out, we recognise that much detail still remains to be clarified, including the nature of the counterparty and the negotiation of the strike price," he said.

"However, we are confident that these issues will be resolved. New nuclear is set to be the least expensive technology in the low-carbon sector, which as a whole offers enormous potential for jobs and economic growth to the UK. We must not squander this opportunity to decarbonise our energy."

The Institution of Engineering and Technology said in a statement that it supported ECCC's concerns and urged the government to give more consideration to demand side measures in the bill.