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‘ World-leading’ carbon target wins backing

l Government accepts committee proposal for a 50% cut in CO2 emissions by 2027

Industry figures have backed the government’s announcement that it has accepted a proposed target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 50% of their 1990 levels by 2027. The proposal, set out by Energy and Climate

Change Secretary Chris Huhne, is in line with advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change. It sets a ‘fourth carbon budget’ of 1,950 MtCO2e for the period that will span from 2023 to 2027, putting the UK on course to further cut emissions by at least 80% by 2050, according to Huhne. The government hopes the carbon budget will

place the British economy at the leading edge of a new global ‘industrial transformation’, and ensure

low carbon energy security and decarbonisation is achieved at least cost to the consumer. The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has strongly endorsed the government’s commitment to low carbon, saying that the built environment has to be at the heart of the UK’s strategy for meeting that target. Paul King, its chief executive, said: ‘This is a world-

leading target – and absolutely the right decision. Government has shown it still has the ambition, but the proof of the pudding will be in the policies – 43% of carbon emissions in the UK come from the energy we use in our homes and buildings and this is where the most cost-effective, pro- business carbon savings are. The Electrical Contractors’

Low carbon ‘transition’

The package also includes measures to minimise costs of the low-carbon transition to industries exposed to international competition:

l In line with the Coalition Agreement, the government says it will continue to argue for an EU move to a 30% target for 2020, and ambitious action in the 2020s. Progress in EU climate negotiations will be reviewed in early 2014. If at that point the UK’s domestic commitments place it on a different emissions trajectory than the EU Emissions Trading System trajectory agreed by the EU, the government says it will revise its budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory.


l Before the end of the year the government will announce a package of measures to reduce the impact of policy on the cost of electricity for energy- intensive industries and to help them adjust to the ‘low-carbon industrial transformation’.

Association (ECA) urged the government to prioritise financial support for installing high-tech energy efficiency improvements. Paul Reeve, its head of

Green bank ‘must borrow’

The UK could lose out on hundreds of billions of pounds of vital investment in green energy projects if the government waters down its plans for a Green Investment Bank, MPs have warned. The coalition government

promised to establish a Green Investment Bank and the Chancellor pledged £1bn to capitalise it in the Spending Review, together with unspecified proceeds from the sale of government assets. But there have been reports

environment and safety, said: ‘So far, the Green Deal has focused on ‘passive’ elements like improved glazing and insulation. Some of these measures have payback periods of over a decade; a significant burden for a homeowner. ‘Properly installed ‘active’ energy efficiency improvements on the other hand, such as LED lighting and smart control systems, can pay for themselves in half that time or less. It would be ridiculous if the government only offered Green Deal loans for the passive, long-term measures when there are investments that mean homeowners will have lower energy bills and smaller carbon footprints in five years.’

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‘ It would be ridiculous if the government only offered Green Deal loans for the passive, long-term measures when active improvements can pay for themselves’

of disagreement within government as to whether it should be a fully fledged

investment ‘bank’, able to borrow money and raise further capital – or simply a ‘fund’. Chair of the Environmental

Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP, said: ‘If the government is serious about being the “greenest ever”, the Chancellor must ensure the Green Investment Bank can do what it says on the tin and raise extra capital like a real bank. The UK desperately needs a game-changing injection of private sector investment if we are going to meet our climate change targets and move to a green economy.’

Celebrating engineering promise Graduate of the Year Awards 2011

Chicago! Chicago!

Win a trip to Chicago to attend the ASHRAE Conference this October!

To apply or for more information visit:

June 2011 CIBSE Journal


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