Calls grow for decarbonisation amendment

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Three of the industry’s leading trade associations have unanimously welcomed news that a cross-party group of MPs is tabling an amendment to The Energy Bill.

MPs are now calling for a legally-binding 2030 CO2 target to be inserted into the bill for the electricity generation sector at a level to be decided by 2014 – as opposed to the 2016 deadline currently proposed by the government.  

STA head of external affairs, Leonie Greene, said: “The Solar Trade Association is fully behind this target. The case for it is clear. We have to avoid locking in to outdated energy infrastructure because the world is currently on track for a devastating temperature rise of four degrees. This target will provide the clear steer investors need, and help mitigate the confusion arising from the Gas Strategy and the loss of the Renewables Obligation.

“However, the renewables industry also needs a clear post 2020 framework if it is to scale up vigorously this decade. Again, this target helps to provide that confidence.”

REA chief executive, Gaynor Hartnell, said: “This would send a clear signal that the UK means business when it comes to decarbonisation. We have a legally binding carbon reduction target for 2050 and the sooner we have clarity on the path for achieving it the better. It will boost the confidence of those who need to invest the billions of pounds required to deliver a sustainable future.”

RenewableUK’s director of external affairs, Jennifer Webber, said: “We welcome the fact that this crucial amendment has been put forward by two senior figures, from both Conservative and Labour sides. Setting a decarbonisation target for 2030 as early as possible is vital if we are to attract long term investment into the UK’s energy sector. This will secure more than 76,000 jobs in the wind industry by 2021, transforming UK manufacturing.

“This far-reaching proposal provides government with a clear opportunity to send a strong signal that it is committed to the transition to a low-carbon economy beyond 2020 – we would urge all those working on the Energy Bill to ensure that that this opportunity will not be missed.”