Monday, July 2, 2012

Concern over climate change measures 'grinding to a halt' Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 7% in 2011, but not because of any surge in renewable energy or improved carbon savings.  Most of the reduction came as a result of higher energy prices, milder weather and lower incomes. In fact, climate change measures accounted for just 0.8% of emissions reductions last year, prompting suggestions that progress in some areas is "grinding to a halt".

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warned that the rate of underlying progress is too slow and is "only a quarter of that required to meet future carbon budgets".  CCC chief executive David Kennedy said emissions needed to be driven down as a matter of urgency. "As the economy recovers it will be difficult to keep the country on track to meet the carbon budgets," he said.

"There are some good initiatives in the pipeline, but more is needed to improve the investment climate, and put in place incentives so that people and businesses can act."

This is the fourth annual report the CCC has provided to government on progress towards tackling climate change and there is evidence that time is running out for the "step-change" the CCC called for in its first report.

One area of concern was a possible second "dash for gas", a move that the CCC claimed would be "a very bad thing" given the higher costs compared to low-carbon technologies and the risks of not meeting the legally binding carbon reduction targets set out in the Climate Change Act....

A car exhaust pipe, shot by Matthew Paul Argall, public domain

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